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^mteeii 



978.1 m. L. 

K13c 

V.9 

1214025 



GENEALOGY COLLECTION 






Ill 



ALLEN COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARY 



3 1833 00828 6590 



TRANSACTIONS 



OF THE 



I 



KANSAS 
STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY . 

1905-1906. 



EMBRACING 

ADDRESSES AT ANNUAL MEETINGS ; EARLY MISSIONS IN 
KANSAS; SEMICENTENNIAL OF TERRITORIAL ORGANI- 
ZATION; RIVER NAVIGATION; POLITICAL ADMIN- 
ISTRATIONS; THE SOLDIERS OF KANSAS, 
AND MISCELLANEOUS PAPERS. 



Edited by GEO. W. MARTIN, Secretary. 



VOL. IX. 



M, 9 



STATE PRINTING OFFICE, 
TOPEKA, 1906. 



1214C25 



OFFICERS FOR 1906. 

President Horace L. Moore, of Lawrence. 

First Vice-president J. R. Mead, of Wichita. 

Second Vice-president Geo. W. Veale, of Topeka. 

Secretary Geo. W. Martin, of Kansas City, Kan. 

Treasurer John Guthrie, of Topeka. (Died July i, i906.) 



LIFE MEMBERS. 



J. B. Adams, El Dorado. 
D. R. Anthony, Leavenworth. 
L. A. Bigger, Hutchinson. 
Geo. E. Cole, Topeka. 

C. L. Davidson, Wichita. 
John E. Frost, Topeka. 
Chas. S. Gleed, Topeka. 
Albert R. Greene, Portland, Ore. 
John A. Halderman, Washington, D. C. 

D. J. Hanna, Hill City. 
Grant Hornaday, Fort Scott. 
Marcus A. Low. Topeka. 

J. R. Mead, Wichita. 



E. N. Morrill, Hiawatha. 

D. W. Mulvane, Topeka. 

Jonathan D. Norton, Topeka. 

C. A. Peterson, St. Louis. 

Sam Radges, Topeka. 

Bertrand Rockwell, Junction City. 

J. C. Ruppenthal, Russell. 

Eliza May Stone, Galena. 

W. B. Stone, Galena. 

W. R. Stubbs. Lawrence. 

B. P. Waggener, Atchison. 

A. B. Whiting, Topeka. 



(iii) 



IV 



Kansas State Historical Society. 



ANNUAL MEMBERS, 

June 30. 1906. 

In addition to this list, all newspaper publisshers and editors are members by virtue of the 
contribution of their publications. 

Alma.-S. H. Fairfield. 
Anthony. — T. A. Noftzger. 
Atchison. -Sheffield Ingalls, Geo. W. Click. 
Baldwin.— J. W. Fisher. 
Baxter Springs. — Samuel J. Crawford. 
Blue Rapids. — Emma K. Lea. 
Burlington. — Fred R. Hammond. 
Chanute.-J. M. Massey, Esther M. Clark, S. 
W. Brewster, Delos Johnson, H. C. Dryden. 
Clyde. — James B. Sager. 
Colony. — John Francis, H. W. Sterling. 
Columbus. — Chas. D. Huffman. 
Cottonwood Falls. — Archibald Miller. 
Council Grove. — John T. Jacobs. 
Courtland. -Mrs. Elizabeth A. Johnson and 

Geo. Johnson. 
Dodge City.-R. M. Wright. 
Eagle Lake, Minn.— J. J. Lutz. 
Ellinwood.— Albert Steckel. 
Emporia.— Joseph H. Hill, John Madden, W. 

E. Bray, Geo. Plumb. 
Erie.-L. Stillwell. 
Garden City.— A. H. Burtis. 
Great Bend.- A. J. Hoisington. 
Harveyville.— Wm. E. Richey. 
Hays City. -Hill P. Wilson. 
Hiawatha. — H. J. Aten, E. N.Morrill, Julia 

A. Chase. 
Highland.— Dr. A. Herring, Pryor Plank. 
Hill City.— John S. Dawson. 
Holton.— T. P. Moore. 
Horton. — Scott Hopkins. 
Independence.— L. U. Humphrey, 
lola.— Frank L. Travis, Benton E. Clifford. 
Jewell City.— J. C. Postlethwaite. 
Junction City.— George W. McKnight, S. W. 

Pierce, A. C. Pierce. 
Kansas City.— Geo. W. Martin, F. D. Coburn. 

Winfield Freeman, Dr. W. F. Waite. 
Kansas City, Mo.— J. C. Horton. 
Lawrence.- Chas. W. Smith, G. Grovenor, Hol- 
land Wheeler, W. C. Abbott. H. L. Moore, 

Paul R. Brooks, W. H. Carruth, F. H. Hod- 

der, John G. Haskell, Frank Strong, F. W. 

Blackmar, Chas. H. Hoyt, Geo. Leis, Alex. 

Martin Wilcox. 
Leavenworth.— J. H. Gillpatrick, H. C. F. 

Hackbusch, J. C. Ketcheson, P. G. Lowe, E. 

T. Carr. 
Lecompton.— E. P. Harris. 



Lincoln. — A. Roenigk. 

Lyndon. — Chas. R. Green. 

McPherson. — A. C. Spilman, John D. Milliken. 

Manhattan.— Carl Engel, Wm. J. Griffing, Har- 
riet A. Parkeson, Mrs. A. E. Coleman. 

Marion. — Alex. A. Case, W. H. Carpenter, 
Ferd J. Funk. 

Marquette. — John F. Hughes. 

Marysville. — W. H. Smith, J. Earl Miller. 

Medicine Lodge. — Chester I. Long. 

Middletown, Conn. — Jos. M. Hubbard. 

Minneapolis. — Harry McMillan. 

Mulberry.— W. H. Tharp. 

Ness City.— L. B. Wolf. 

Newkirk, Okla.— H. M. Hamblin. 

Oberlin. — G. Webb Bertram. 

Olathe.— D. P. Hougland, John P. St. John, D. 
Hubbard. 

Olsburg.— John Booth. 

Omaha. Neb. — Henry E. Palmer. 

Pittsburg.- C. N. Price, T. C. Werner, Geo. G. 
Hamilton. 

Richland.— Stephen M. Crockett. 

Salina.— Fred H. Quincy, James A. Kimball, 
August Bondi, T. D. Fitzpatrick, A. M. 
Campbell, C. W. Lynn, Luke F. Parsons. 

Solomon.— R. M. Wimsatt. 

Sonyea, N. Y.— Truman Lewis Stone. 

Tecumseh.— J. A. Read. 

Topeka.— Mrs. Caroline Prentis, Wm. E. Con- 
nelley, E. F. Ware, Harry E. Valentine, Zu 
Adams, Geo. W. Crane, Clad Hamilton, John 
R. Mulvane, John M. Meade, Geo. M. Kellam, 
T. J. Anderson, John Martin. Geo. W. Weed, 
Lucy D. Kingman. Fred M. Kimball, Luther 
McAfee Nellis, Wm. A. Johnston, Norman 
Plass, L. D. Whittemore. Geo. W. Veale, J. 
Ware Butterfield, G. F. Kimball, Luther C. 
Bailey, Fred. Wellhouse, Geo. A. Huron, 
Chas. F. Hardy. Chas. E. Eld ridge. 

Wakefield. — Wm. J. Chapman. 

Washington, D. C— Chas. S. Davis, E. J. 
Dallas. 

Whittier, Cal.— R. M. Peck. 

WichiU.— Sam'l F. Woolard, Kos Harris, W. 
H. Isely, R. A. Sankey, J. Elmer Reese, Jos. 
D. Houston. 

Winfield.— Charles H. Rhodes, E. C. Manning. 

York, Pa.- Dr. I. H. Betz. 



Kansas State Historical Society. 



BOARD OF DIRECTORS. 



FOR THE THREE YEARS 
Adams, Zu, Topeka. 
Blackmar, Frank W., Lawrence. 
Chase, Harold T.. Topeka, 
Chase, Julia A., Hiawatha. 
Connelley, Wm. E., Topeka. 
Crane, Geo. W., Topeka. 
Fisher, J. W., East Radford, Va. 
deed, Chas. S., Topeka. 
GrifRng, W. J., Manhattan. 
Guthrie, John, Topeka. (Died July 1, 1906.) 
Haskell, John G., Lawrence. 
Hill, Joseph H., Emporia. 
Hopkins, Scott, Horton. 
Hovey, G. U. S., White Church. 
Johnson, Elizabeth A., Courtland. 
Lane, Vincent J., Kansas City. 
Lowe, P. G., Leavenworth. 

FOR THE THREE YEARS 
Brooks, Paul R., Lawrence. 
Clark, Geo. A., Topeka. 
Cory, C. E., Fort Scott. 
Cowgill, E. B., Topeka. 
Davies, Gomer T., Concordia. 
Dawson, John S., Hill City. 
Fairfield, S. H., Alma. 
Francis, John, Colony. 
Freeman, Winfield, Kansas City. 
Hackbusch, H. C. F., Leavenworth. 
Hoch, E. W., Marion. 
Isely, W. H., Wichita. 
Keizer, Dell, Topeka. 
McCarter, Margaret Hill, Topeka. 
Martin, John. Topeka. 
Miller, J. Earl, Marysville. 
Prentis, Caroline, Topeka. 

FOR THE THREE YEARS 
Abbott, Wilbur C, Lawrence. 
Anderson, T. J., Topeka. 
Anthony, D. R., Leavenworth. 
Baker, Floyd P.. Topeka. 
Brewster, S. W., Chanute. 
Capper, Arthur, Topeka. 
Carruth, W. H., Lawrence. 
Coburn, F. D., Topeka. 
Cole, George E., Topeka. 
Gillpatrick, J. H., Leavenworth. 
Greene, A. R., Portland, Ore. 
Green, Charles R., Lyndon. 
Hanna, D. J., Hill City. 
Harris, Edward P., Lecompton. 
Hamilton. Clad, Topeka. 
Hodder, Frank H., Lawrence. 
Hughes, John F., McPherson. 



ENDING DECEMBER, 1906. 
McMillan, Harry, Minneapolis. 
Martin, Geo. W., Topeka. 
Mead, J. R., Wichita. 
Milliken, J. D., McPherson. 
Moore, Horace L., Lawrence. 
Morrill, E. N., Hiawatha. 
Murdock, Victor, Wichita. 
MacDonald, John, Topeka, 
Randolph, L. F.. Nortonville. 
Ruppenthal, J. C. Russell. 
Sims. William, Topeka. 
Smith, W. H., Marysville. 
Vandegrift, Fred L., Kansas City. 
Wellhouse, Fred., Topeka. 
Wright, Robert M., Dodge City. 
Wilson, Hill P., Hays City. 

ENDING DECEMBER, 1907. 
Pierce, A. C, Junction City. 
Quincy, Fred H., Salina. 
Richey, W. E., Harveyville. 
Rockwell, Bertrand, Junction City. 
Royce, Olive I., Phillipsburg. 
Scott, Charles F., lola. 
Smith, Charles W., Lawrence. 
Smith, F. Dumont, Kinsley. 
Strong, Frank, Lawrence. 
Stone, W, B., Galena. 
Thompson, A. H., Topeka. 
Valentine, D. A., Clay Center. 
Whiting, A. B., Topeka. 
Waggener, B. P., Atchison. 
Whittemore, L. D., Topeka. 
Woolard, Sam'l F., Wichita. 

ENDING DECEMBER. 1908. 
Johnston, W. A., Topeka. 
Kingman, Lucy D., Topeka. 
Lewis, Cora G., Kinsley. 
Madden, John, Parsons. 
Moore, H. Miles, Leavenworth. 
Nellis, Luther McAfee, Topeka. 
Noftzger, T. A., Anthony. 
Parsons, Luke F., Salina. 
Plank, Pryor, Highland. 
Plass. Norman, Topeka. 
Rhodes, Charles Harker, Winfield. 
Riddle, A. P„ Minneapolis. 
Veale, Geo. W., Topeka. 
Ware, E. F., Topeka. 
Weed, George W., Topeka. 
Wilder, D. W.. Hiawatha. 



CONTENTS OF THIS VOLUME. 



PAGE 

Officers and Life Members of the Kansas State Historical Society iii 

Annual Members of the Society, June 30, 1906 iv 

Board of Directors of the Society v 

Acknowledgment xi 

I.— Addresses at Annual Meetings. 

The Alliance Movement in Kansas— Origin of the People's Party, by 

W. F. Rightmire, of Topeka 1 

The Saline River Coimtry in 1859, by James R. Mead, of Wichita 8 

Reverend Father Paul M. Ponziglione, by S. W. Brewster, of Chanute, 19 

The Victory of the Plow, by William D. Street, of Oberlin 33 

Samuel A. Kingman, by Joseph G. Waters, of Topeka 45 

Judge Samuel A. Kingman, an address before the State Bar Associa- 
tion, by Howel Jones, of Topeka 55 

Reminiscences of Dodge, by Robert M. Wright, of Dodge City 66 

The Wyandot Indians, by Ray E. Merwin, of Galena 73 

Building the Sedan Court-house, by H. B. Kelly, of Topeka 89 

The Kansas Oil Producers against the Standard Oil Company, by W. E. 

Connelley, of Topeka 94 

The History of the Desert, by F. W. Blackmar, of Lawrence 101 

IL — Semicentennial Anniversary of our Territorial 
Organization. 

Kansas-Nebraska Bill and Decoration Day, by William H. Taft, of 

Washington, D. C 115 

Early Days in Kansas, by Geo. W. Martin, of Topeka 126 

Address at the Semicentennial Anniversary of the Founding of Law- 
rence, by George R. Peck, of Chicago, 111 144 

III.— Missions among the Indians in Kansas. 

Right Reverend John B. Miege, S. J., First Catholic Bishop of Kansas, 
by James A. McGonigle, of Leavenworth 153 

The Methodist Missions among the Indian Tribes in Kansas, by Rev. 
J. J. Lutz, of Eagle Lake, Minn 160 

Probably the First School in Kansas for White Children, by Geo. P. 
Morehouse, of Council Grove 231 

IV.— River Navigation. 

A History of the Missouri River, by Phil. E. Chappell, of Kansas City, 

Mo 237 

Missouri River Steamboats, by Phil. E. Chappell, of Kansas City, Mo. . 295 
The Kansas River— its Navigation, by Albert R. Greene, of Portland, 

Ore 317 

(vii) 



viii Contents of this Volume. 

V. — Statecraft. page 

The Kansas State Senate of 1865 and 1866, by Edwin C. Manning, of 

Winfield 359 

The Genealogy of Charles Robinson 377 

The Administrations of John P. St. John, by I. O. Pickering, of Olathe. . 378 
The Administration of George W. Glick, by James Humphrey, of Junc- 
tion City 395 

The Administrations of Lyman U. Humphrey, by D. O. McCray, of To- 
peka 414 

VI.— The Soldiers of Kansas. 
Company A, Eleventh Kansas Regiment, in the Price Raid, by Capt. 

H. E. Palmer, of Omaha, Neb 431 

The Battle on Beaver Creek, by George B. Jenness 443 

Beecher Island Monument 453 

The Black-flag Character of War on the Border, by Capt. H. E. Palmer, 

of Omaha, Neb 455 

VII.— Miscellaneous Papers. 

The Railroad Convention of 1860, by George W. Glick, of Atchison 467 

The Drought of 1860, by George W. Glick, of Atchison 480 

Reminiscences of Foreign Immigration work for Kansas, by C. B. 

Schmidt, of Pueblo, Colo 485 

Edward Grafstrom, a Hero of the Flood of 1903 497 

The Story of a Fenceless Winter-wheat Field, by T. C. Henry, Denver, 502 

Where Kansans were Born, by D. W. Wilder, of Hiawatha 506 

Voting for Lincoln in Missouri in 1860, by D. P. Hougland, of Olathe. . . 509 
Kaw and Kansas: a Monograph on the Name of the State, by Robert 

Hay, late of Junction City 521 

Two City Marshals: 

Thomas James Smith, of Abilene, by T. C. Henry, of Denver, Colo. 526 

Thomas Allen CuUinan, of Junction City, by Geo. W. Martin 532 

Dispersion of the Territorial Legislature of 1856, by Abby Huntington 

Ware, of Topeka 540 

Kansas Experiences, 1856-'65, by Oscar G. Richards, of Eudora 545 

Reminiscences of Hartman Lichtenhan, of Geary county 548 

Westport and the Santa Fe Trade, by William R. Bernard, of Kansas 

City, Mo 552 

Explanation of Map 565 

Errata and Addenda 579 

Index 583 



MAPS AND ILLUSTRATIONS. 

Rev. Father Paul M. Ponziglione Opposite 2A 

Mission Buildings at Osage Mission " 25 

Right Rev. John B. Miege 153 

First Cathedral in Kansas 155 

Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Leavenworth 157 

East School Building at Shawnee Mission 159 

Rev. Thomas Johnson 161 



Illustrations in this Volume. ix 

PAGE 

Ten-squa-ta-wa, the Prophet 164 

Rev. Jesse Greene 166 

Mrs. Mary Greene 167 

Shawnee Indian Church 169 

Home of Missionary and Teachers at Shawnee Mission 173 

Girls' Boarding-house, Shawnee Mission 175 

Col. A. S. Johnson 175 

Rev. Jerome C. Berryman 177 

Rev. Nathan Scarritt 182 

Rev. Charles Bluejacket 183 

Rev. Joab Spencer 185 

Rev. John Thompson Peery 194 

Map of the Kaw Agency, 1827 195 

Mrs. Mary Jane Johnson Peery, nee Chick 198 

Mrs. Anna M. Grinter 205 

Rev. James Ketchum 207 

Silas Armstrong 216 

Monnocue 221 

Between-the-Logs 221 

Rev. L. B. Stateler 222 

Mrs. Melinda Stateler 223 

Judge T. S. HufFaker 231 

Kaw Indian Mission at Council Grove 232 

Mrs. Eliza A. Huffaker 234 

Steamer General Meade among the Buffaloes 236 

Phil. E. Chappell 237 

Manuel de Lisa 244 

The Keel-boat in the Fur Trade, 1810 261 

The Pioneer Steamboat, 1820-1830 279 

A Missouri River Steamboat, 1850- 1860 292 

The Lightfoot on a Sand-bar, Kansas River 326 

River Scene at Lecompton, 1855 344, 345 

Shawnee Indian Mission, 1832 375 

Charles Robinson, First Governor of Kansas 376 

John P. St. John, Eighth Governor of Kansas 379 

Benjamin Singleton • • ■ 385 

George W. Click, Ninth Governor of Kansas 396 

Lyman U. Humphrey, Eleventh Governor of Kansas 415 

Monument at Beecher Island 454 

Map of Railroads Suggested by Convention of 1860 477 

C. B. Schmidt 486 

Bronze Tablet to Edward Graf strom 498 

Map Showing Early Routes of Travel, Missions, and Indian Villages ... 576 



ACKNOWLEDGMENT. 



rpHERE is much I would like to say about this volume and its contents, 
but it has already expanded beyond the limit and |I must forbear. The 
Historical Society and all the good people of Kansas interested in the 
splendid record made by our state most heartily acknowledge great obli- 
gations to the contributors who have furnished so much interest to these 
pages. The research and editorial work have been very extensive, and it 
has been performed by Miss Zu Adams, Miss Clara V. Francis, and George 
A. Root; I cannot give too much credit to the earnestness, persistence, en- 
thusiasm and scholarship of these assistants. Then, no matter how much 
work has so far been placed upon it, the result must pass through the 
brains and hands of certain mechanics before appearing to the public. 
Equal acknowledgment is therefore due Thomas B. Brown, foreman of the 
composing-room, M. E. Lanham, who cuts up and arranges the copy, and 
Albert G. Carruth, proof-reader (an invaluable familiarity with Kansas 
proper names and dates characterizing these three), and George W. 
Tincher, foreman of the bindery, and J. M. Hill, pressman, of the state 
printing plant, for the almost faultless and entirely handsome appearance 
of the book. With these acknowledgments as to whom credit is due, I 
am in a position to say that volume IX is an admirable book. 

One thought: the division of statecraft is a new departure, which it is 
proposed to continue down to the latest administration. I wonder if pubhc 
men ever stop to think that what they do is history, and that it is quite im- 
possible in compiling history to separate the chaff from the wheat, or the 
dirt from the good. There are no instruments in making history more im- 
portant than those charged with public administration. It is not the prov- 
ince of the State Historical Society to publish that which may be unpleas- 
ant, but, unfortunately, the bad is not lost. 

G. W. M. 

TOPEKA, August 15, 1906. 

(Xi) 



I. 



Addresses at Annual Meetings. 



THE ALLIANCE MOVEMENT IN KANSAS— ORIGIN 
OF THE PEOPLE'S PARTY. 

An address by W. F. Rightmire,' of Topeka, before the Kansas State Historical Society, 
at its twenty-ninth annual meeting, December 6, 1904. 

THE first Farmers' Alliance originated in Lampasas county, Texas, in 
1874 or 1875, and was organized for the purpose of protecting the farm- 
ers from the encroachments of the wealthy cattlemen, who sought to prevent 
the settlement of farmers in that section and to keep the lands in pasture 
for the use of their ranch herds. 

A permanent organization was made at Poolville, Parker county, Texas, 
July 29, 1879, and this spread through Parker and adjoining counties. A 
state Alliance was organized at Central, Parker county, December 27, 1879. - 
After several meetings had been held, the permanent ritual and constitution 
were adopted August 5, 1880, and a charter of incorporation was secured on 
the 6th day of October following, by the officers elected at a meeting held 
August 12, 1880. The charter stated the objects of the organization and its 
purpose to be "to encourage agriculture and horticulture, and to suppress 
local, personal, sectional and national prejudices and all unhealthy rivalry 
and selfish ambition. ' ' 

The order spread rapidly through the seven cotton states of Texas, Ar- 
kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, North Carolina, and Tennessee. 
On the 15th day of May, 1889, delegates from these seven states of both 
the Agricultural Wheel •* and the Farmers' Alliance met at Birmingham, 
Ala., and took joint action against the cotton- bagging trust, and shortly 
thereafter— September 24, 1889,— these two organizations were merged, un 
der the name of the Farmers' Alliance. 

The state Alliance of Texas, at the meeting held at Mineral Wells Au- 

NoTE 1. — W. F. RiGHTMiRE, who furnished this manuscript by request, was born in Tomp- 
kins county. New York, March 20, 1849. He worked his way through college, graduating in 
1869, and removed to Pennsylvania, where he read law, and was admitted to the bar in 1872. Re- 
moving to Iowa in 1874, he became district judge in 1884. Resigning this office in 1887, he came to 
Kansas and settled atLarned. He later removed to Cottonwood Falls, and in 1891 to Topeka. where 
he still resides. Having voted for Peter Cooper in 1876, and always acted with the so-called re- 
form movement, he was accepted as one of the leaders of this movement in Kansas, and was one 
of the leaders in the political history he describes in this article. 

Note 2. — The data for this history of the organization of the Alliance have been compiled 
from W. S. Morgan's "History of the Wheel and Alliance," 1889, and Dunning's "Farmers' Alli- 
ance History," 1891. 

Note 3.— The Agricultural Wheel was organized at Des Arc, Prairie county, Arkansas, Feb- 
ruary 15, 1882. The original constitution stated the objects to be "the improvement of its mem- 
bers in the theory and practice of agriculture and the dissemination of knowledge relative to 
rural and farming affairs." A preamble to the constitution, adopted later the same year, de- 
clares in favor of "providing a just and fair remuneration for labor, a just exchange of our com- 
modities, and best mode and means of securing to the laboring classes the greatest amount of 
good." 

-1 



2 Kansas State Historical Society. 

gust 8, 1882, adopted as the law of the Alliance this resolution : "Resolved, 
That it is contrary to the spirit of the constitution and by-laws of our order 
to take part in politics ; and further, that we will not nominate or support any 
man or set of men for office as a distinct political party. " This remained the 
law of the order while it was in existence. The Kansas organization was 
planted, by a few persons, for a distinct political purpose, as will hereafter 
be shown. 

When the question of the resumption of specie payments and a contrac- 
tion of the currency was agitated in 1867 and 1868, the representatives of 
the Southern states and those west of Pennsylvania in a large measure 
followed the lead of representatives Thaddeus Stevens and Wm. D. Kelley, 
of Pennsylvania, in resisting contraction and resumption. Self-appointed 
delegates met at Indianapolis, Ind., in the summer of 1876, and organized 
the Greenback party, and nominated Peter Cooper, of New York, as the 
party's candidate for president. The result of the campaign was the elec- 
tion of a number of representatives in Congress, who, holding the balance 
of power between the Republican and Democratic parties, were able to 
force the enactment of a law prohibiting the retirement of the government 
legal-tender notes or greenbacks below the sum of 346 millions of dollars. 

In the campaigns of 1878 and the following years, in Kansas and many 
other Western states, the Republican conventions, and in all of the Southern 
states the Democratic conventions, for their financial planks, adopted the 
demands of the Greenback party, and by this means destroyed the Green- 
back party in those states, and the party passed out of existence in the 
campaign of 1884, when its presidential nominee was Gen. Benjamin F. But- 
ler, of Massachusetts. 

Many of the former Greenbackers and representatives of various labor or- 
ganizations met in national convention at Cincinnati, Ohio, May 15, 16, 1888, 
and organized the Union Labor party, and nominated Alson J. Streeter, of 
Illinois, and Charles E. Cunningham, of Arkansas, as its candidates for presi- 
dent and vice-president. At this convention the leading delegates of each 
state were initiated into, and made organizers of, the National Order of 
Videttes, a secret, oath-bound society which had been organized by a few 
of the leaders of this movement in Kansas a short time prior to the conven- 
tion, with the object of preventing fusion with either the Democratic or Re- 
publican parties. Its membership was restricted to those leaders in each 
county who would pledge themselves for all time to form no alliance with 
either of those two parties. 

The ritual and all other records of the organization were printed in a 
secret code known only to those initiated into its ranks, and it was extended 
over Kansas until it had enrolled in its ranks every person who had been 
prominent in each county as an opponent of the two old parties. 

At the convention of the Union Labor party held in Wichita August 28, 
1888, a meeting of the Videttes was held the evening before the convention, 
and the entire work of the convention of the next day decided upon. 

The general convention did not deviate in any manner from its prescribed 
course, and among its nominees as candidates for various state officers, were 
P. P. Elder, of Franklin county, for governor, and W. F. Rightmire, of Chase 
county, as the candidate for attorney-general. These candidates were the 
most prominent speakers of the party in the campaign that followed. 



The Alliance Movement in Kansas. 3 

As the ritual of the Videttes had become exhausted, a new edition was 
printed at the Nonconformist office, in Winfield. From this office a ritual 
was taken by a member of the order, a printer by the name of C. A. Henrie, 
and with a key to its cypher code dehvered into the hands of a leader of 
the Republican party. 

The ritual was translated in full, and printed and stereotype plates fur- 
nished to nearly all if not every Republican paper of Kansas, with big head- 
lines branding the order of Videttes as a gang of anarchists, and holding up 
to obloquy and denunciation the known members of the order, those who 
had been present at its last state meeting at Yates Center as delegates, and 
whose names had been furnished by Henrie. This expose was given by 
those papers as a supplement of their issue of a week agreed upon. But 
this publication changed no vote for or against the different political parties. 

The result of the election was a vote for the Union Labor party's leading 
candidate of about 40,000,^ while the Harrison electoral ticket received a 
plurality of about 82, 000 ^ in the state of Kansas. 

Pursuant to the call of the commander of the Videttes, nineteen selected 
leaders met in Wichita on the 19th day of December, 1888, and, after a two 
days' conference, disbanded the order of Videttes and the state committee 
of the Union Labor party, and organized in their place a State Reform As- 
sociation. W. F. Rightmire, of Chase county, was elected president; J. D, 
Latimer, of Linn county, secretary ; Andrew Shearer, of Marshall county, 
vice-president. With the president, editors John R. Rogers, 'J of Harvey 
county, E. H. Snow,' of Franklin county, Henry Vincent, of Cowley county, 
and W. H. H. Wright, of Cloud county, formed the executive committee. This 
committee was instructed to select some existing organization, or to organ- 
ize a new one, into whose ranks the reformers and farmers and laborers of 
Kansas could be enlisted as members. 

After an examination of the declaration of purposes of various organiza- 
tions, it was ascertained that the declarations of the secret** Farmers' Alli- 
ance of the South embodied every tenet of the platform on which the Union 
Labor party had waged its campaign of that year. Three editors," members 
of the executive committee of the State Reform Association went to Texas, 
and were initiated into the order. Upon their return home they planted the 
Farmers' Alliance in Kansas by organizing a subaUiance in Cowley county 

Note 4.— H. A. White, candidate for associate justice, received 38,960 votes. 

Note 5. — Republican plurality over Democratic electors, 80,159. 

Note 6.— John R. Rogers disposed of his newspaper, the Kaiisas Commoner, &t Newton, 
and removed to the state of Washington. He was elected governor of this commonwealth in 
1896 for a term of four years, and was reelected in 1890. He died before the close of his second 
term. 

Note 7. — Edwin H. Snow was elected state printer of Kansas in 1891 and held the office for 
four years. Some time thereafter he moved to Nebraska, and was engaged in newspaper work 
in Lincoln in 1904. 

Note 8.— There were two organizations by the name of Farmers' Alliance. The one known 
as the Northern held open meetings, and was of the nature of a cooperative society. It had an 
extensive organization in Kansas, and held its first state meeting in Lyons, Rice county, Au- 
gust 2, 1888 ( "Lyons. Republican, August 16. 1888), at which representatives from 603 subordi- 
nate Alliances were present. This organization held a meeting December 20, 1888, and elected 
Benj. H. Clover president. The Southern Alliance, whose organization we have thus far traced, 
held secret meetings, had a ritual, secret work, grips, and passwords, and excluded attorneys 
and all residents of incorporated cities from its membership, and was a close organization, obey- 
ing the directions of its general officers. 

Note 9.— These editors were C. Vincent of the American Nonconformist. Winfield ; John 
R. Rogers, of the Newton Kansas Commoner; and W. F. Rightmire, of Cottonwood Falls, Kan., 
associate editor of the Nonconformist. 



4 Kansas State Historical Society. 

by changing a Northern suballiance at Cloverdale into a secret Alliance. i» 
The members of this executive committee constituted themselves recruiting 
officers to enlist organizers to spread the organization over the state. Se- 
lecting, if possible, some Republican farmer in each county who had been 
honored by elections to two terms in the state house of representatives, 
and then retired, and who had become dissatisfied because his ambition and 
self-esteemed qualifications of statesmanship received no further recognition 
at the hands of the nominating conventions of his party, he was engaged to 
"organize the farmers of his county in the order, so that if the order should 
conclude to take political action, he, as the founder of the order in his 
county, could have any place he desired as the reward for his faithful 
services at the hands of his brothers of the order." But few of their men 
so selected failed to accept the ofl!ice of organizer or to go to the designated 
place for initiation, instructions, and a commission, as the compensation of the 
organizer ranged from $1.50 to $2 per day, and they changed open to secret 
Alliances, and put in new ones where there were no organizations. 

Through the channels of the old Vidette organization instructions were 
sent to the members of the Union Labor party to hold back from member- 
ship and to denounce the Alliance as a move on the part of the old parties 
to steal the Union Labor platform and destroy the Union Labor party, until 
all their Republican and Democratic neighbors had been initiated, then to 
allow themselves to be coaxed to join, and then, after initiation, to begin 
applying the tenets of the platform to the condition of the farmers and 
laborers of Kansas. 

The work of organization thus directed progressed so rapidly that there 
were no county organizations in the Northern Alliance instituted. The 
presidents of the county Alliances issued a call for a meeting at Newton, 
November 16, 1889, to organize a state Alliance. 

After the call was issued, the Reform Association sent a call through 
the Vidette channels for all of its former members to be present and help 
perfect the state organization. This call was obeyed, the program of the 
Reform Association adopted in detail, and its choice elected as the officers 
of the state Alliance, reelecting the officers elected at the Topeka, 1888, 
meeting. 

The state president selected was Benjamin H. Clover," an old Green- 
backer, of Cowley county. He placed himself under the guidance of the 
members of the executive committee of the Reform Association, and actions 
advised by its president and Committeeman Vincent always received his ap- 
proval and hearty cooperation. 

The first action taken was a circular letter from the president of the state 
Alliance, countersigned by the state secretary and seal of the order, sug- 
gesting that every suballiance, by resolution, should submit the Alliance 

Note 10. — This subordinate Alliance at Cloverdale had as its local president Benjamin H. 
Clover, who was a National Labor candidate in Cowley county, Kansas, for member of the lesis- 
lature in the campaign of 1888. At a called meeting- from some Alliances for a state convention 
meeting at TopeUa, December 20, 1888, Mr. Clover had been elected president of the state organ- 
ization Alliance of the Northern Alliance, and u.sed all his influence as such officer to change the 
Northern suballiances into secret Southern suballiances. 

Note 11.— Benjamin H. Clover, of Cambridge, Cowley county, was born in Franklin 
county, Ohio, December 22, 1837 ; received his education in the common schools of his native 
state ; a farmer, school commissioner, and held similar local offices ; twice chosen president of the 
Kansas State Farmers' Alliance and Industrial Union, and twice vice-president of the national 
organization ; elected to the fifty-second Congress as a candidate of the Farmers' Alliance. 
( Biog. Congressional Directory, 1903, p. 460. i His death occurred at his farm near Douglass. 
Kan., December 30. 1899. t Topeka Daily Capital, December 31, 1899.) 



The Alliance Movement in Kansas. 5 

platform to the representative in Congress from their congressional district, 
and to the Kansas United States senators, and request an answer of appro- 
val or disapproval. This was done. Every Kansas congressman and Sena- 
tor John J. Ingalls dodged an answer, while Senator P. B. Plumb unqualifiedly 
approved every plank of the platform. 

The next action was the submission of the platform, by every suballiance, 
to William A. Peffer, then editing the Kansas Farmer. The result was his 
pamphlet, "The Way Out," and his taking the lecture field to champion the 
principles of the platform of the Alliance. 

Then followed the call for a meeting of the county presidents on March 
25, 1890, at Topeka, for a conference upon the affairs of the state Alliance. 
At this meeting political action was ordered by the adoption of the follow- 
ing resolution: 

"Resolved, That we will no longer divide on party hnes, and will only cast 
our votes for candidates of the people, for the people, and by the people." 

On June 12, 1890, in response to a public call for a conference by Presi- 
dent Clover, of the Farmers' Alliance and Industrial Union, to members of 
Grange, Alliances, Knights of Labor, and Single-tax clubs, there met in 
Representative hall, Topeka, ninety delegates, of whom forty-one were of 
the Alliance, seven of the Grange or Patrons of Husbandry, twenty-eight 
of Knights of Labor, ten of Farmers' Mutual Benefit Associations, and four 
from Single-tax clubs. The conference adopted a resolution, by unanimous 
vote, to put full state, congressional, legislative and county tickets in the 
field, and the name "People's Party" was adopted as a title under which 
to take political action. A committee of one from each congressional dis- 
trict was elected. This committee organized with J. F. Willits, of Jeffer- 
son county, as president, S. W. Chase, of Cowley, as secretary, and the 
name "People's Party" was adopted as the title under which to take polit- 
ical action, and the calling of a state convention was left to the option of 
this committee. A delegate state convention called by this committee met 
at Topeka August 13, 1890, and nominated a state ticket for the People's Party 
of Kansas. The campaign which followed was also managed by the original 
committee. The president of the Reform Association was nominated for 
chief justice of the supreme court, and gave his entire time to speaking, as 
did others of the association, and the State Reform Association ceased to 
exist as an organization. 

At the regular meeting of the state Alliance, at Salina, in October, 1890, 
an attempt was made to give the candidate for governor, J. F. Willits, i- 
the indorsement of the state Alliance by electing him as its president, but 
this movement was opposed by the members of the Reform Association who 
were members of the state Alliance. Frank McGrath,' ' of Mitchell county, 
was elected state president. 

Note 12.— John F. Willits came to Kansas from Howard county, Indiana, about 1863. He 
represented Jefferson county in the legislatures of 1871 and 1873 as a Republican. At the time ol 
his nomination he was fifty-five years of age. His occupation is given as a farmer. Mr. wiuus 
now resides at McLouth. 

Note 13.— Frank McGrath was born in West Virginia January 3, 1846; served in Co. C., 
Fourth Illinois volunteer cavalry during the civil war ; came to Mitchell county, Kansas, "J i»b». 
and engaged in stock business. He built the Avenue hotel, of Beloit. and was also interested in 
the opera-house and livery business. He was sheriff of Mitchell county, served three years as 
deputy United States marshal under Wm. H. Mackey, jr., and at the time of his death, at L-an- 
sing, Kan., September 27, 1905, was state parole officer. 



6 Kansas State Historical Society. 

Near the close of the campaign, National President L. L. Polk, of North 
Carolina, and L. F. Livingston, state president of Georgia, came to Kansas 
to attend the annual meeting of the state Alliance. At its close, they de- 
livered addresses in Topeka, giving the gifasi-indorsement of the national 
Alliance to the political movement. 

While the Southern Farmers' Alliance thus led the way for the Kansas 
political action, the Northern Farmers' Alliance, not secret, led the way for 
political action in Nebraska, Iowa, Wyoming, Colorado, Montana, Minne- 
sota, and the Dakotas. The Farmers' Mutual Brotherhood elected members 
of the legislature in Wisconsin, Illinois, and Indiana, and the Southern Alli- 
ance, working within the Democratic party, elected several congressmen, 
and controlled the legislatures in several Southern states. 

After the election of 1890, the president of the ex-Reform Association 
urged upon the men who had been prominent in the various states the call- 
ing of a conference for 1891 to organize a national third party, and the 
signatures of every prominent Northern reformer were secured to a call for 
this purpose. The Southern men did not join in this movement. 

At the meeting of the National Farmers' Alliance in Ocala, Fla., De- 
cember 3, 1890, Capt. C. A. Power, of Indiana, sent forth this call, which 
gave great offense to the delegates from the Southern states. The Kansas 
delegates, to preserve harmony in the Alliance, suppressed and withdrew 
the call, and as a reward were given two of the national officers. President 
Clover, of Kansas, who had been elected to Congress from the third Kansas 
district, was made national vice-president, and J. F. Willits, who had been 
the Kansas candidate for governor, was chosen as the national lecturer of 
the national Alliance. " 

While the Kansas Farmers' Alliance was organized under the charter 
granted in Texas, it deviated therefrom by enacting a by-law at its first 
state meeting prohibiting any resident within an incorporated town or city 
becoming a member of a suballiance. To offset this discrimination, an or- 
ganization was effected at Olathe of the residents of cities and towns, called 
the Citizens' Alliance. At a state meeting held the day before the People's 
Party convention, the secretary of the first Citizens' Alliance, D. C. Zercher, 
was elected state president, and the Reform Association's president, W. F. 
Rightmire, was elected state secretary. 

The political convention on the following day, August 13, 1890, nominated 
W. F. Rightmire for chief justice of the supreme court, and D. C. Zercher 
for the office of secretary of state. After the election, about the first of 
December, many of the members of the defunct State Reform Association, 
in person and by letter, urged their past president to issue a call to perfect 
a secret organization somewhat similar to the Farmers' Alliance, and yet 
upon the plan of the old Videttes, to pledge its members against voting for 
any person nominated for any office by a convention of either the Demo- 
cratic or Republican parties. He therefore shortly afterwards issued a call 
as state secretary of the Citizens' Alliance for a meeting in Topeka on the 
13th day of January, 1891, the day of the convening of the legislature. 

Pursuant, to this call about 250 self-appointed delegates met in Man- 
speaker's hall, in Topeka, and perfected their organization by adopting a 
ritual, secret work, and incorporating under the laws of Kansas as "The 
National Citizens' Industrial Alliance. " Among other officers, W. F. Right- 



The Alliance Movement in Kansas. 7 

mire was elected as its national secretary, and by a resolution he was in- 
structed, at such time as he should deem it advisable, to issue a call for a 
conference to meet in Cincinnati, to organize a national third party. 

Securing by correspondence the call issued at Ocala, Fla. , in the previous 
December, with all the signatures attached, and which had been withdrawn 
and suppressed, Mr. Rightmire issued a call for a conference of reformers 
to meet in Cincinnati, Ohio, on the 19th day of May, 1901, to consider, and, 
if deemed necessary, to organize a national party. Securing the signatures 
of the officers and many of the members of the Kansas house of repre- 
sentatives to this call, he attached thereto the signatures that had been at- 
tached to the Ocala, Fla., call, and gave it to the representatives of the 
press on said February 7. This call was received with great enthusiasm 
by the reformers of the Northern states, and with coldness and opposition 
by the Alliance leaders and press of the Southern states. 

When the day of the conference was at hand, a self-appointed delega- 
tion of 483 persons fi-om Kansas gathered at Kansas City, and proceeded to 
Cincinnati by special train. At Cincinnati many representative Alliance 
men of the South had gathered to oppose the formation of a new party. 
They advocated the capture of the Democratic party by taking possession 
of the state organizations in the Western and Southern states. So well did 
they champion this course that many leaders from the Northern states held 
a caucus, and determined to prevent action by capturing the committee ap- 
pointed to formulate a platform for the conference, and then to delay the 
report until the delegates had returned home in disgust ; then to recommend 
that all action be postponed until the joint meeting of the Alliance and 
Knights of Labor at St. Louis on February 22, 1892. 

Upon the temporary organization of the conference, the members of this 
caucus were given control of the committee on platform. A committee on 
permanent organization was appointed, every member of which was an old- 
time Greenbacker. The conference took a recess until the following morning. 

All interest in the conference centering in the committee on platform, 
the committee on permanent organization held a hurried meeting, provided 
for permanent officers of the conference, and the speakers at its meetings, 
and adjourned. Desiring to know the result of this, committee's delibera- 
tions. Colonel Norton, of Chicago, Morris L. Wheat, of Iowa, and W. F. 
Rightmire, called upon the secretary, who read its report. Thereupon W. 
F. Rightmire proposed that the secretary add to the committee's report this 
clause: "That the delegation from each state select three members of the 
executive committee of the new party." This received the approval of the 
secretary and Messrs. Norton and Wheat. It was then agreed that the ap- 
proval of this clause by the other members of the committee on organization 
should be delayed until the gathering at the convention hall on the morning 
following, and that a still hunt should be made by those four present. Quiet 
work was done by hunting up the old Greenbackers who were delegates, and 
asking them to move the previous question upon the submission of the com- 
mittee's report to the conference. 

So quietly was the work done that, when the report was submitted to the 
conference in the morning, those opposed to the organization of a party were 
taken by surprise, and the previous question was moved. More than 500 
delegates arose to second the previous question, and it and the adoption of 



8 Kansas State Historical Society. 

the report of the committee were carried by the unanimous standing votes 
of the delegates assembled. 

A recess was then taken to allow each state delegation to elect its mem- 
bers of the national executive committee. The committee on platform was 
notified that the conference had settled the organization of the party, but 
wished that committee to provide the name for the new party. By the time 
the executive committee had been selected, the platform committee came 
into the hall and reported as the name that of the "National People's 
Party." A platform embodying all of the planks of the Alliance platform, 
and a plank presented by the ex- Confederate delegates from Texas demand- 
ing a service pension for evei-y honorably discharged Union soldier, was unani- 
mously adopted. 

The adoption of this platform by the conference ended its work, and the 
mission and educational work of the Kansas Farmers' Alliance, having cul- 
minated in the organization of a national reform party, the interest in the 
Alliance movement was transferred to the People's Party. The Alliance 
organizations perished through the neglect of their members to attend upon 
the meetings of their suballiances. 



THE SALINE RIVER COUNTRY IN 1859. 

An address delivered by James R. Mead' before the Kansas State Historical Society, at its 
twenty-ninth annual meeting, December 6, 1904. 

MY story is not of war, political strife, the founding of cities, nor build- 
ing of railroads, in all of which I have played a part— others have 
written of these— but of the hills and plains of Kansas, God's great park, 
surpassing anything that art or wealth of man has made. To me their 
primeval condition was the most beautiful and interesting of all the earth, 
especially that portion of the plains comprising the valleys of the Saline, 
Solomon and Smoky Hill rivers for 100 miles west of Salina— at the time of 
which I write a land almost unknown, of absolute liberty and freedom to do 
in as one pleased. It was a land of timbered rivers, streams of pure water 
fed by springs in the Dakota sandstone, broad valleys, rolling hills covered 
with a velvety coat of sweet grass, sandstone cliffs sculptured by nature in 
form of ruined castles; monoliths, cyclopean walls, with cedar canyons and 
sparkling springs. 

Over this entrancing land roamed countless numbers of buffalo, elk, and 
deer. Beaver built their dams and sported undisturbed in the rivers and 
streams. Glossy black turkeys were as common as chickens about a farm- 
house. Eagles soared aloft, and thousands of ravens, a bird peculiar to the 
plains. There were prairie-chickens of two varieties ; occasional flocks of 
quail, of the Texas variety ; fox-squirrels in the oak timber ; raccoons, por- 
cupines, foxes, otter ; the lynx, wildcat, and panther ; badgers and prairie- 
dogs ; and everywhere big gray wolves and the musical coyotes, subsisting 
on the weak or fallen and the hunter's waste. On every side was animal 
life, and no one to disturb the harmony of nature except the occasional rov- 
ing bands of the red men of the wilderness, who claimed the country as 
their own since man inhabited the earth. Nature here supplied all things 

Note 1.— For sketch of James R. Mead, see Kansas Historical Collections, vol, 8, p. 171. 



The Saline River Country in 1859. 9 

their needs required, free to all alike. Such was the Saline country as I 
found it in 1859, then in its original condition of life and beauty, and here I 
had many adventures. 

As this article is one of personal experience, I will briefly narrate the 
circumstances which led up to my life on the plains. I was born in New 
England ; was raised at the foot of the timbered bluffs which overlook the 
father of waters, near the city of Davenport, Iowa. Arriving there before 
the land was surveyed by the government, I early learned to use a rifle, and 
the woods were full of game. I loved adventure and the wild, free life of 
the frontier. Kansas was at that time first in men's minds in our neighbor- 
hood, occasioned in part by a visit from Gen. James H. Lane, who had set 
the land aflame by his magnetic presence and forceful eloquence, as he de- 
picted the woes and beauty of "bleeding Kansas." 

Having decided to go to Kansas, I had made to order two of the finest 
rifles money could procure, with a fine saddle-horse, good clothes, and plenty 
of grit. With two neighbor boys, I set out for Kansas, and crossed the 
Missouri river at Weston on the 23d day of May, 1859. We found a beauti- 
ful land; a few people along the eastern border, but among them many men 
who would rank high in any line of human activities. Did space permit, I 
should like to write of these grand men whose names stand high in the his- 
tory of Kansas. I again met General Lane, was his friend, aided his ambi- 
tions,- and, later, stood by his dying bedside. 

My two companions soon tired, became homesick, and returned to Iowa. 
I stayed, and spent the summer getting acquainted with Kansas. We tried 
boating corn down the Kaw river from Topeka, Lecompton and Lawrence 
to McAlpine's warehouse at Wyandotte, for government use, 500 sacks each 
load. Boating was not a success that summer; too little water, too many 
sand-bars; but I did meet two Delaware Indians who were Fremont's guides 
to California, and got much valuable information of the plains and moun- 
tains. Then I tried breaking prairie, as I had taken up some land, and be- 
came a "squatter sovereign." But the sun and wind dried the ground till 
it was hard as a grindstone, and I became disgusted with honest endeavor, 
and quit, retiring to the hospitable home of that genial frontiersman, I. B. 
Titus, on the banks of Switzler creek, at Burlingame. Here I assisted him 
in sitting on his porch beside the great Santa Fe trail watchin g the dusty 
trains drag their slow lengths along with a rattling fire of popping whips, 
mingled with strange oaths in mixed Mexican and frontier jargon. Inci- 
dentally we gathered in $20 or $30 or more each day for the privilege of 
crossing Titus's $100 log bridge. So Kansas had its redeeming qualities even 
then. 

From these voyagers of the plains I learned of the vast herds of buffalo 
and the wild life to the west ; of Indians more or less wild and savage, who 
took their toll in scalps, mules, etc., to liven up the monotony of the plains. 
The warm blood of youth longs for adventure. Here was an opportunity. 
My impatient rifles longed to show their mettle. Later they had their fill, 
for to my shame be it recorded that they laid low 2000 buffalo and other of 
God's creatures in proportion during some years of service. 

On September 1 we organized a party of young men, of whom D. R. Kil- 

NOTE 2.— James R. Mead represented Butler county in the legislature of 1865, and, Januaiy 
12, voted for the reelection of James H. Lane as United States senator.- House Journal, 1865, 
pages 42-45. 



10 Katisas State Historical Society. 

bourn was one, with six or seven teams. We followed the Santa Fe trail 
west, crossing, as I remember, Dragoon, Log Chain and Rock creeks to 
Council Grove ; then Diamond Springs, Cottonwood, Little and Big, and 
Running Turkey creeks, to a little wayside trading-house south of the big 
bend of the Smoky Hill, called a ranch, as all such places on the plains were 
then called. Any camping-place on the Santa Fe trail was as good a point 
for business as the main street of a town. Along the trail we met long 
trains of wagons ; they usually drove twenty miles a day or less, as water 
and camping-places required. Some of these trains were loaded high with 
the coarse wool from New Mexico. The Santa Fe trail was about 100 
feet wide, worn smooth and hard by the broad tires of countless wagons, 
each drawn by four to eight spans of mules or oxen, with a loose herd 
driven behind containing the sore-footed, lame, given-out and extra ani- 
mals. They were called the "cavayard. " 

Among others we met Colonel Bent, with a train-load of buffalo-robes and 
furs from his fort up the Arkansas. Some of these trains were accompanied 
by merchants from Santa Fe, riding in carriages and carrying large amounts 
of specie. 

As one ox train was passing, loaded with wool, we stopped at the side of 
the trail to view the uncouth caravan, men, teams and wagons covered with 
dust. Underneath each wagon a net was swung, made of hides or sacks 
sewed together, filled with buffalo-chips for fuel, or sometimes a log or 
driftwood was swinging underneath, with cooking utensils and rawhide ropes 
hung along the sides. I walked out to the train to get a closer view, and 
the first driver I noticed was a young man named George McGranahan, who 
was raised on a little farm back in the woods near my father's home in Iowa. 
Boys were we together; I had lost trace of him, and here we met on the 
wide plains. 

At the ranch we were told there were plenty of buffalo back from the 
trail, north or south. We turned north. The plains seemed boundless; not 
a tree or bush was in sight; lying in long, rolling swells, always higher 
ground bounded the horizon in the distance. Soon we saw an occasional 
big gray wolf lying dead, poisoned for its hide. After traveling five or six 
miles a dark horizon appeared in the distance on the divide. "Timber!" 
our party shouted. On closer approach it proved to be buffalo, extending to 
east and west as far as we could see. All the loose men, except the writer, 
seized their guns and started in hot pursuit afoot. Soon we heard the pop- 
ping of guns, which continued for the next two hours, as we drove slowly 
along. Later the men came straggling in, exhausted from their long chase, 
but not a buffalo tongue to show. They declared "a buffalo could pack off 
twenty pounds of lead," as they were sure they had shot that much into 
some of them. 

In the afternoon we crossed the divide and camped on a stream running 
north to the big bend of the Smoky Hill. The "buttes" were in sight to 
the north. Buffalo were all around us. In the morning all scattered out 
hunting, the writer going alone among the bluffs south of the Smoky, and 
on returning towards evening had as many tongues to show as the twelve 
others comprising our party. While at this camp, a lone stranger, unarmed, 
came walking into camp in search of help. His story was that he and his 
brother, with two yoke of oxen and a wagon, had gone for a winter's hunt. 



The Saline River Country in 1859. 11 

Arriving at a difficult crossing on the Saline, they were delayed, having to 
cross their outfit on a bridge made by felling a tree. While here their oxen 
developed Spanish fever and died, leaving them afoot in the wilderness in a 
thicket of timber and weeds, on the bank of a miry river, and no help within 
fifty miles, so far as they knew. I was so entranced with the wild life of 
the beautiful country and the multitude of game, I was anxious to see more 
of it. Here was an opportunity. With the consent, but against the advice, 
of my companions, who predicted I would never be heard of again, I took 
the chances, having a team and outfit of my own. The stranger and I 
started ofl" north, crossing the Smoky, and drove to the top of the buttes to 
get a view of the country, finding a little lake of water and springs. From 
the summit of the buttes, so far as the eye could reach, were broad valleys 
and rolling hills, rivers and streams lined with timber, and buffalo and other 
animals grazing or lazily reposing in the warm sunshine. A beautiful park. 
All was peace, as nature's God had made it. 

On the second day we arrived at the desolate camp; found a man and a 
dog, verging on insanity from solitude and fear and the horrors which some- 
times come to men and animals when left alone in the wilderness. A horde 
of hungry wolves had discovered the camp. The nights were a pandemonium 
of fighting, snarling, and howling, as they devoured the dead oxen within 
fifty feet of the tent. Nothing was left but the large bones, and the terri- 
fied man and dog supposed their time would come next. A little later I 
gathered in the pelts of these same wolves. The next summer, on visiting 
the place, I found several stalks of corn growing; on one, two well-developed 
ears of corn. This was the first civilized corn grown on the banks of the 
upper Saline. Not far away I found a beautiful spot sheltered by timber, 
near the north bluff, commanding a view five miles down the valley. We 
moved to this place and built cabins, stable and corral for the winter. There 
had been a great flood in the Saline valley in 1858. In the lowlands along 
the river the sunflowers grew a dense thicket ten feet high. Through them 
were paths made by buffalo, and in riding along them on horseback I several 
times met a bull buffalo face to face. Along the bluff was a line of drift, 
showing the valley had been covered six feet deep with water. This line of 
drift extended far up the river, and the valley above where the town of Lin- 
coln now stands must have been covered, judging from the drift, ten to fif- 
teen feet deep, occasioned by the bluffs on either side and the thick timber 
forming a gorge. 

Having completed comfortable winter quarters, which became known as 
Mead's ranch, I set out to explore the country. So far we had seen no one. 
Riding down the river fifteen or twenty miles, I found a lone squatter named 
Shipple, who had a ferry across the river on the trail leading from Fort 
Riley to Fort Larned, and, a couple of miles southwest on the Smoky, a little 
town of a dozen or more houses, called Salina. 

Here I met some excellent people. Col. William A. Phillips, ^ founder of 
the town; H. L. Jones and his estimable wife, who kept a very comfortable 
hotel ; Alexander M. Campbell ^ had a store and post-office ; the brothers, Robert 

P^ Note 3.— William A. Phillips was the territorial correspondent of the New York Tribune 
and the author of "The Conquest of Kansas." He was a member of Congress from 1873 to 18i9. 
For complete biography, see Kansas Historical Collections, vol. 5. pages 100-113. 

Note 4.— Alexander M. Campbell was born in Renfrewshire, Scotland. August 12. 1835. 
In 1848 he emigrated to the United States, and settled in Randolph county. Ilhnois. In 18d3 he 



12 Kansas State Historical Society. 

H. Bishop^ and Rev. William Bishop," were there. The surrounding country 
was a buffalo range. Between Salina and Fort Lamed were two hunters' 
ranches — Farris brothers," on Elm creek, and Page" and Lemon, at the cross- 
ing of the Smoky, both on the Fort Lamed trail. I afterwards found these 
men to be good fellows and excellent hunters. 

Colonel Phillips offered me one-sixteenth of the town site and a vacant 
claim adjoining, if I would locate there and help build up the town. I was 
out for sport and adventure, not for town building. I replied that I already 
owned all of the Saline country for a hundred miles west, with a million head 
of live stock, and that was enough. 

For information I was directed to a young man named Spilman,'' who had 
been up the Saline to a large tributary which he described as very miry near 
its mouth, and that brief conversation gave his name to the stream which 
it still bears. The Saline river at that time was unexplored, and there were 
no names for the tributaries on the north side ; so for convenience I named 
them, and by those names they are still known. Returning to the ranch 
with two men I had picked up, I fitted out a team to explore the country up 
the river to the west. A trail ran up the river on the north side a short 
distance, as all trails in central Kansas did. Our first camp was on a small 

moved to Clinton county, Missouri, and in 1856 he came to Kansas and settled at LawTence. He 
first engaged in cutting wood for Delaware Indians, and then hired out to run a ferry across the 
Kansas river. He was an ardent antislavery man, and was interested with Montgomery and Abbott 
in their campaigns in southern Kansas. He acted as deputy sheriff of Douglas county, and took 
a census of the county. He settled in Saline county in 1858, opened a farm, traded with the In- 
dians, and trapped. He was appointed postmaster in 1861, and held the position for years, 
engaging in general merchandising. He was married October 6, 1858, in Riley City, to Miss 
Christina A. Phillips, sister of Col. William A. Phillips. He still resides in Salina. 

Note 5.— Robert H. Bishop located in Saline county in 1860, one-half mile west of the town 
site of Salina, and engaged in farming until 1868. He then engaged in insurance and real estate. 
He was county clerk of Saline county for several years prior to 1867, and acted as deputy register 
of deeds. He was a member of the legislature in 1863. In 1874 he was elected justice of the 
peace, which position he held for many years. He was born in Scotland, and graduated from 
Illinois College, at Jacksonville. He died a few years ago. 

Note 6.— Rev. William Bishop, D. D., was born December 9, 1825, at Whitburn, Linlith- 
gowshire, Scotland. His father brought his family to the United States when William was nine 
years old. After finishing a common-school course William entered Illinois College, fi-cm which 
he graduated in 1847. He took a theological course at Princeton, and was licensed to preach by 
the second presbytery of New York in April, 1850. In Illinois College he held the chair of Greek for 
two years, and in 1852 was elected professor of Greek language and literature in Hanover Col- 
lege, Indiana. In 1859 he removed to Kansas, and accepted the pastorate of the Presbyterian 
church at Lawrence. In the first move to establish the State University, Doctor Bishop was 
rnade corresponding secretary of the board of trustees, and professor of Greek language and 
literature. In 1874 he became president of Highland University, where he served seven years. 
He .settled in Salina, and for four years was county superintendent of schools. He accepted a 
call to become pastor of the Presbyterian church at Independence. He returned to Salira, and 
again served four years as county superintendent of schools. He was president of the Slate 
Teachers' Association in 1881, and served twice as moderator of the synod of Kansas. He died 
at Salina June 4, 1900. 

Note 7.— The hunting ranch of Henry V and Irwin Farris (who were among the second 
party attempting a settlement in Ellsworth county ) was located on what was " Elm " creek, 
but now known as " Clear " creek. They settled there September 20, 1860. Their ranch was on 
the line of the Fort Riley to Pawnee road, about four miles east of Page & Lemon's ranch. Ihe 
Farris brothers were at their ranch when the guerrillas raided Salina, and both were visited by 
the freebooters, and their horses and arms taken, the robbers following the read to the crossing 
of Cow creek, where they made their first halt, sixty miles. 

Note 8.— D. H. Page and Joseph Lemon had a hunting ranch on the north bank of the 
Smoky Hill river where the Fort Riley to Larned road crossed that stream, and theirs was one 
of the first settlements in Ellsworth county. These men were single and were engaged exclu- 
sively in hunting and doing a little trading. They occupied their ranch from 1860 to 186.3, when 
they abandoned it on account of Indian troubles. Joe Lemon was the more active of the two ; 
was an expert hunter, and was said to be a man who could take care of himself and party under 
all circumstances. Fort Ellsworth was built on their deserted ranch on the Smoky Hill, about 
three-fourths of a mile southwest of where Fort Barker was afterwards located. 

Note 9.— Alexander Caraway Spilman was born October 5, 1837, at Yazoo City, Miss. 
His father. Dr. James F. Spilman, was a planter in Mississippi, but, meeting reverses, in 
1837 removed to Illinois. His mother was Margaret Caraway, a native of Tennessee, of Scotch 



The Saline River Country in 1859. 13 

creek with many beaver dams. We named that Beaver creek. Here I shot 
two fat elk from a passing bunch. On the next small creek were evidences 
of war. Scattered about were broken pots, kettles, pans, and camp equi- 
page ; probably a small hunting party of Delawares had been surprised and 
driven out by the Cheyennes, who were jealous of this, their country. What 
they did not choose to carry away they had destroyed. In walking along 
the bank of the timbered creek my foot struck the end of a chain extending 
into the ground. On digging down we found a nest of heavy, new camp- 
kettles, such as Indians use, cached. I gave the name of Battle creek to 
this stream. Late that evening we approached a large tributary stream, 
and in the darkness drove into a salt marsh. I remarked, " We have found 
Spilman's creek," and that name it still bears. On this large stream was 
abundant game, and, in the thickets, shelters made of fallen wood, where 
small parties of Indians stopped over night while on predatory expeditions. 
No large camp sites were seen. Continuing on up the river we came to an- 
other large stream, which, from the large number of wolves we killed there, 
I named Wolf creek, as it now appears on the map. On this creek I found 
the remains of two Indians, the flesh eaten by animals and ravens. Stuck 
fast in the bones were about thirty iron arrow points. Our verdict was, 
thieving Pawnees, overtaken by Cheyennes, evidently a large party, as each 
one shoots an arrow into a fallen enemy, and those they cannot pull out re- 
main, except the shaft, which is pulled off. Wolf and Spilman creeks were 
on the road of war used by the Pawnees upon the Platte river, whose main 
occupation was stealing horses from the wild tribes on the Arkansas and 
south to Texas. The Pawnees, in parties from two to thirty, would start 
down from their reservation afoot, with five or six pairs of extra moccasins 
and several lariats, subsisting on game. They knew the country perfectly, 
as they formerly occupied it and still claimed it, so they told me. These 

ancestry. The family of Doctor Spilman and wife consisted of six daughters and five sons, and 
of the latter three were Presbyterian ministers and two were physicians. A. C. Spilman at- 
tended the public schools at Edwardsville, 111., and in 1854 entered Illinois College. In lS56-'57 he 
attended the Michigan University, but the exciting events then taking place in Kansas drew 
him thither. He arrived at Lawrence in August, 1857. His attention was attracted to the 
Saline River country, and in February, 1858, the Salina Town Company was incorporated, and he 
became its secretary. In March, 1858, the site was selected, and in 1859 Mr. Spilman surveyed 
and platted the town of Salina. In 1860 he was clerk of the board of commissioners appointed to 
organize Saline county, and, July 2, 1860, was elected first register of deeds. He enlisted in com- 
pany F, Sixth Kansas cavalry, serving as sergeant, and upon the organization of the Indian 
brigade he was made captain of company B, Third regiment. He represented Saline county in 
the legislature of 1867. In 1870 he removed to McPherson county and engaged in farming and 
stock-raising. He served three terms as probate judge of that county and two terms as mayor of 
McPherson, and is an elder in the Presbyterian church, as his father and grandfather were before 
him. Mr. Spilman writes as follows concerning Mr. Mead's statement : 

"I have read with a great deal of interest Mr. Mead's account of his adventures and explora- 
tions in the upper Saline valley in 1859. He was possibly the first white man to visit a portion of 
that i-egion and note its streams and prominent landmarks. Hunters and explorers ai-e, in a 
large measure, responsible for the geogi-aphical nomenclature of the country. Streams and other 
noteworthy physj^al features of a new country usually owe their names to some distinctive 
characteristic, some local happening or incident, or some individual who was first identified 
therewith. This is illustrated in Mr. Mead's article, where the presence of many beaver dams 
gave the name of * Beaver ' to a creek, while the evidences of a confiict between hostile bands 
of Indians gave the name of ' Battle ' to another, and so on. At the time of Mr. Mead's visit to 
Salina, in the fall of 1859, Mr. James Muir and myself, having been members of the surveying 
party on township lines, in 1858, were credited with a somewhat extensive acquaintance with the 
geography of the Saline valley and its tributaries for a distance of about forty miles west. In his 
conversation with me at that time. Mr. Mead stated that he was establishing a ranch on the Saline 
for hunting purposes, and asked information as to the streams entering the valley above. I par- 
ticularly described one large creek coming in from the northwest, on which there was a consid- 
erable growth of young hardwood timber. It was currently reported, and I have never denied 
the statement, that while on the survey, in attempting to cross this creek on a mule, I got mired 
down in the quicksand. Owing to the recent great flood, all of the streams were miry and al- 
most impassable. Our surveying party gave no names to the tributary streams, and in the field- 
notes reference by name was made only to the so-called rivers, the Smoky Hill, Saline, and 
Solomon." 



14 Kansas State Historical Society. 

Pawnees had a regular route of travel, coming into the state near the north- 
east corner of Jewell county, south across Mitchell and Lincoln counties, 
across the northwest corner of Ellsworth county, into Barton county and 
the big bend of the Arkansas, and from there wherever Indians camps could 
be found, traveling by night when near other Indians. 

I had many adventures with these parties during the three years I spent 
in that country. On one occasion a straggling remnant of a party came to 
my camp nearly famished and frozen. It was winter. They had found a 
camp of Comanches somewhere south, had got near a lot of horses in the 
night, were discovered and pursued. Some of them were killed, while others 
threw away arms, clothing, everything, to escape, and scattered, to meet at 
some prearranged place. One of them was shot through the thigh with an 
arrow. I had the meat of two or three buffalo lying on the grass, which 
they ate like famished wolves, cutting it in little squares and boiling the 
meat a few minutes in my camp-kettles. They were nearly naked, and 
their sole weapons for the party of a dozen were two bows and arrows. 
They were not in good spirits. When the Cheyennes discovered that a bunch 
of their horses were stolen, they would start in hot pursuit, like a swarm of 
angry hornets. 

Another time, in March, 1861, near the same place, a party of fourteen 
came along. They had twenty-four horses and mules, all with Mexican 
brands. They said they left their reservation on the Platte in the fall, 
afoot, when the leaves were on the trees, had been gone nearly seven 
months, and said they had been to Old Mexico. Some of their horses were 
loaded with rock salt from the Cimarron, and they made a map showing a 
lot of rivers beyond, which I knew nothing of. Another time I had to stand 
off a party of thirty-five who proposed to rob us, as my young men were too 
badly scared to do any good. Once I left a young fellow at a camp I had 
established, while I went over to Wolf creek to hunt a few days. On re- 
turning, I found my man hidden out in the brush, nearly frozen, with nothing 
to wear but his underclothes. Two Indians came along with some stolen 
horses, saw he was scared, made him cook all they could eat, then took off 
his clothes and whatever else they wanted, and leisurely packed their ponies. 
Back of the camp shelter was my young man with two loaded guns hid 
under some skins. He was too badly scared to use them. He could easily 
have gotten away with both Indians, but lacked grit. The timid and the 
weaklings had no business in that country. 

On another occasion* I established a camp on Spilman creek, and, after 
collecting a quantity of furs, left one man in the camp and went to hunt 
with my other man and team. It was winter, very cold, and snow deep. 
In a day or two the man I had left came to my camp ; said he heard shooting 
all around, was scared, and skipped in the night. I drove back, found the 
camp plundered and a big trail in the snow leading down the river. Direct- 
ing my men to follow, I started after them on my pony. In a few miles I 
saw them ahead, on foot. Each one had a big wolf skin of mine hanging 
down his back, a slit in the neck going over his head. There were thirty- 
three in the party. I followed them, unseen, for some distance, and saw I 
could not possibly get around them, as my pony could hardly stand, her feet 
were so smooth ; but I had to get to my ranch ahead of them for various 

• December, 1861. 



The Saline River Country in 1859. 15 

reasons ; so I took the chances and rode into them, just after they crossed 
the creek, and was surrounded and captured. I found they were a party of 
Sioux on a marauding expedition, some of them the most villainous-looking- 
beings I ever saw. I gave them a good talk, let on I was glad to see them, 
proposed we all travel together, to which they agreed, had a jolly time for 
half a day, by which time I had so ingratiated myself with the chief, who 
was a fine fellow, that I was allowed to go on alone. Some of the Indians 
loudly protested, but a chief's word is law. Our conversation was carried 
on in the sign language, as not one of them could speak a word of English. 
I had two men at the ranch, and my men with the team got in that night. 
The Indians came to my place the next morning and built a fortified camp 
in the timber back of the house. I treated them nicely, gave them tobacco, 
and got all of my furs back except an otter skin, which the chief had cut 
into strips, and wore a part of it braided in his head-dress and the other 
attached to his war club. I have some of their war arrows. Before leav- 
ing for the northeast, they agreed not to molest any hunters they might 
meet, but they did go over to the Solomon and plundered and abused the 
few families they found there. 

I had a somewhat similar experience with Sioux on the Solomon in the 
winter of 1862, in what is now Phillips county, where I spent most of the 
winter hunting. Plenty of buffalo wintered there. I escaped, while others 
down the river, towards the settlements, were plundered. What surprised 
me was that they traveled afoot in the winter long distances, with the 
thermometer at zero, and in deep snow, without the least inconvenience, 
seeming to like it. These are but a few of many such experiences I en- 
joyed in the Saline country. After we had gotten out of one scrape we 
would laugh over it and wonder what would happen next. I went no further 
west on this trip, but, after hunting and exploring all we wanted to, returned 
to the ranch on the Saline with a big load of furs, hides, and meat, and had 
all the hunting we wanted at home. 

The next exploring trip I undertook was up the Smoky Hill river, in the 
month of February. We went far up the river, but found nothing. The 
country had been burned over; the game had all left, as there was no feed — 
a dreai*y, desolate waste. We turned north and went over to the Saline, halt- 
ing on a high bluff south of the river. I looked about. Not a thing ap- 
peared in sight. I had no field-glass. At length in the dim distance, ten or 
fifteen miles away to the north, I could see the tops of the hills were black, 
and, by watching, could see that the summits moved. Then I knew buffalo 
were there, and where buffalo could be found in winter there was sure to be 
wood, water, grass, and all other game. We crossed the Saline below some 
salt springs from which the river derives its saline properties, and traveled 
north. We soon found a large, dry, sandy creek coming from the hills in 
the distance ; following this up we came to beaver dams and water. The 
beaver held back all the water in the dry season. Further along were plenty 
of buffalo, and where the stream came out of the bluffs were groves of 
beautiful oak timber. The canyons were full of large cedars and no sign 
of an ax or of white man's presence in any of it. I had found a stream 
unknown. 

As we drove into this beautiful spot I exclaimed, "Boys, we have got 
into paradise at last ! "— and that name it bears to this day, and the towTi of 



16 Kansas State Historical Society. 

Paradise is near the spot of our first camp. We had surely found a para- 
dise of game— buffalo, elk, black-tailed deer in bunches of fifteen or twenty, 
turkeys in abundance, beaver, otter, and hungry wolves in gangs. My next 
morning's experience will illustrate this. I started with my rifle at day- 
light, came to the creek, Paradise, near by ; water deep, from beavers' 
dams ; found a log to ci-oss, but a porcupine occupied the center and de- 
clined to move. I punched him with my rifle and he stuck the stock full of 
quills by blows of his tail. I finally punched him into the creek and crossed, 
crept up the opposite bank, and peeped over into a dog town ; saw a big 
wildcat sneaking up to a dog hole looking for breakfast. He saw me and 
skipped into the brush. Then two turkey gobblers came chasing and fight- 
ing one another. I got them in range, running toward me, but got only one 
of them. The other walked around his fallen adversary several times, 
then marched off. I hung the turkey on a tree out of reach, and went on 
about eighty rods and shot two bulls, and a little further I shot three cows. 
On returning I found the bulls surrounded by a mass of big wolves nearly 
white, and resembling a bunch of sheep, busily engaged in tearing the 
bulls to pieces. They paid no attention to me. I walked up within seventy- 
five yards and fired my rifle several times into the mass before they would 
leave. Four of them lay dead and others were crippled. I went to camp, 
got the team, and hastened back to the cows, and found them nearly de- 
voured. While I was gone my men had shot at three bull elk which came 
near camp ; said they hit one in the paunch— perhaps they did. I put out a 
quantity of strychnine that night for my friends, the wolves, and next day 
we gathered in eighty- two. As their pelts were worth $2.50 apiece, we had 
no fault to find with the wolves. On going up the creek, I found a large, old 
Indian camp at the entrance to the hills, probably ten years old. I also 
found a camp a few days old, where two Pawnees were returning from a 
successful horse-stealing expedition from the Indians on the Arkansas, and 
had left a letter written in hieroglyphics for the benefit of some of their 
comrades who were behind. I added to it a short account of our hunt, our 
number, where we were going, etc., in the same characters. Further up 
the stream were cliffs of sandstone on which were recorded, in usual Indian 
style, accounts of battles, and many other things, but no white men's names, 
and in my exploration of that country I found but one name carved in the 
rock. That bore the date of 1786. We returned to the ranch down the Sa- 
line, told others of our paradise, and by that name it has been known since. 

There was a battle fought on the plains north of Spilman creek in June, 
1861, not recorded in history. The Otoe tribe, from the north, with their fami- 
lies and a letter from their agent, came down for a big hunt. They camped 
in the valley along the creek. The Cheyennes found them and sent 300 
or 400 warriors to drive them out. The Cheyennes were afraid to charge 
the camp, as the Otoes had guns. Both sides fought on horseback with 
bows and arrows, and after the battle arrows could be picked up everywhere. 
In one instance two young men rushed together at full speed, seized each 
other with their left hands, stabbing with their right till both fell dead, 
without relaxing their hold. The Otoes finally retreated down the river to 
my ranch, with scalps, ears, fingers and toes of their enemies, trophies of 
the fight, tied on poles. 

Somewhere up the Saline, on the south side, should be the legendary tin 



The Saline River Country in 1859. 17 

mine. (See Schoolcraft, vol. I, p. 157.) •" General McGee, who surveyed 
this country in 1860 or 1861, and made headquarters at my ranch, was on the 
lookout for the mine. He obtained information from a Wyandotte In- 
dian named Mudeater, who was one of Fremont's guides. His description 
was: "At the first camp we made on the trail after crossing the Saline I 
rode to the mine. It was on a creek in a northwest direction. I was gone 
two hours and brought back some of the metal." He made a rough sketch 
of the location, which would place it on the head of Elkhorn or Elm creek. 
Mudeater had intended to come and locate the place, but died. We hunted 
that country, but failed to find it. 

The Saline and big bend of the Smoky Hill were favorite hunting-grounds 
of the Kaw Indians in the fall and winter of 1859, 1860, and 1861. A majority 
of the tribe were there. A chief named Shingawassa, with his band, camped 
in the timber close by our ranch. 

The summer of 1860 was very dry, and in the fall the buffalo, in going 
south, crowded down along the eastern border of their range in order to 
get grass. There had been few buflTalo in the country that summer, and 
grass was fine. In the fall the first wave of returning bufi'alo stopped in 
the valley; had a regular play spell in the tall grass and weeds. They were 
almost as tame as domestic cattle; fat and fine. They kept coming until the 
valley was full before they crossed the river. In a week's time nearly all 
the grass in the country was eaten off close to the ground. Then, for the next 

Note 10. — " Information Respecting the History, Condition and Prospects of the Indian 
Tribes of the United States. Collected and Prepared under the Direction of the Bureau of In- 
dian Affairs, per Act of Congress of March 3d, 1847, by Henry R, Schoolcraft, LL. D." The 
edition of this publication in possession of the State Historical Society does not contain the ar- 
ticle on "Tin in the Kansas Valley " ; hence it is deemed important to publish it herewith in full. 
We obtain this from the edition of 1853. It is the property of J. R. Mead. 

"tin in the KANSAS VALLEY. 

[ The importance of the subject named in the following letters will furnish the best reasons 
for inserting them. Indicating the existence of so important a metal as tin, on the waters of the 
Kansas, they supply a hint for exploring the region in question. — g. w. m.] 

" Country of Pottawatomies, Old Kanzas Agency, January 10, 1848. 

"Sir : Permit me herewith to enclose you a specimen of American tin found in this region 
of country — the metal from which the britannia ware of commerce is manufactured. I have 
not, at this remote place, for the want of the necessary reagents, been able to subject it to a 
rigid analysis, but I believe I have sufficiently tested it to be able to pronounce upon its charac- 
ter, and if so, its discovery is a matter of some interest to our common country. It exists in 
great abundance, and passes here for zinc. Let it be tested. 

"If I recollect my early reading right, the old tin mines of Cornwall, England, furnish the 
greater part of this metal used in commerce throughout the world. This deposit of tin, I pre- 
sume, is equal to that. I have had some knowledge of the existence of these mines for more 
than ten years past. A beautiful specimen of gold was about that time found by my brother- 
in-law. Dr. R. M'Cay, about forty miles northwest of this place, and whatever this country may 
lack as to timber, etc., it is one of great interest and value on account of its mineral resources. 

"Should leisure from the duties of my appointment as physician admit of it, I propose in the 
spring to furnish your office with a detailed exhibit of its geological aspects and mineralogical 
indications. Should you be pleased to acknowledge the receipt of this, please inform me whether 
the person discovering mines on lands unassigned to the Indians west of the state of Missouri 
is entitled to have a lease, as on other lands belonging to the United States. 

" P. S.— The metal enclosed was run from the ore in a common melting pan for lead. J. L." 

"Sub-agency of the Pottawatomies, Kanzas River, May 15, 1848. 
" Sir : Your favor, desiring that a portion of the ore, from which was smelted the metal 
sent in my former letter, should be sent through the superintendent of Indian affairs, arrived too 
late to enable me to comply with your request. I have not at this time any of the ore on hand, 
but will procure and send it as soon as practicable. The ore in question has been brought to this 
place by the Kansas Indians, foi-merly residing here, and is represented by them to exist in great 
quantities where obtained by them. From all I can learn from them, they obtain it on the 
Smoky Hill fork of this river, about 100 miles west of this place ; but they are so superstitious in 
regard to such things, that little reliance can be placed on what they state— they have, however, 
promised to conduct me to the place whenever I may be able to go. My engagements have been 
such that I have not as yet found time to do so, and may not this season. As to the existence in 
this region of an extensive and very valuable deposit of tin ore of a rich quality I have no doubt. 
The Kanzas blacksmith at this place smelted from the ore, in his forge fire, a quantity sufficient 
to make a large pipe tomahawk. I had also in my possession, ten years since, a block of tin 

-2 



18 Kansas State Historical Society. 

three weeks, there was a steady wave of buffalo passing on to the south, day 
and night. The unceasing roar continued, and, when their myriads had 
passed, the surface of the earth was worn Hke a road cut into innumerable 
parallel paths. Three weeks later I went forty miles west, and found vast 
herds of buffalo still passing south. That winter there was deep snow, and 
the starving buffalo traveled east in search of food. Several thousand passed 
by Salina, and wintered in the valley of Gypsum creek. The Kaw Indians 
reaped a harvest of robes and meat. 

Among the odd characters found on the frontier was a bald-headed old 
hunter named Tommy Thorn. He had a cabin at Salina, v/iih earth floor 
covered with skins, a fireplace in the south end, bunks on the sidp. It was 
known as "the den." It was very comfortable — warm in winter and cool 
in summer. Fuel cost nothing, and at all times there was an abundance to 
eat and drink free to all. Buffalo meat, flapjacks and coffee gave men 
strength and courage. About twice a year Thorn would take a load of skins 
and hides to Leavenworth, bring back a load of provisions, consisting of 
flour, sugar, coffee, tobacco, and ammunition— meat, the best on earth, for 
the killing— not forgetting a ten-gallon keg of Kentucky whisky, of which 
he was very fond, but did not use to excess. On returning to ",the den" he 
would unload his supplies, set his keg near the fireplace, put a faucet in it, 
hang a tin cup on a nail, and invite his brother hunters in to make them- 
selves at home and help themselves to anything he had. Among other things, 

weighing one and a half pounds, smelted in a common log fire. So soon as practicable, I will 
send you the ore in question, with some other ores now on hand, found immediately here. 

"I have made but little progress in making up data from which to construct a geological 
sketch of the country. I cannot command the time. Could I obtain leave of absence from my 
post for one or two months, in order to ascertain the precise locality of the tin mines, I would 
make such a tour with great pleasure, but otherwise cannot attempt it." 

"Pub. M. L. School, Indian Territory. October 1, 1849. 

" Sir : Some time since I transmitted to your office a specimen of American tin found in the 
Kanzas valley, and subsequently, through the Indian agent, made a special request of your prede- 
cessor in office for a permit to explore and work for a set time this tin mine, to which he made 
no reply. I now beg leave to call your attention to the subject. For many years I have been 
gathering up information respecting this locality of tin metal, and have at length satisfactorily 
ascertained its place. Twelve or fifteen years since a large block of this metal smelted from its 
ore was submitted to me for examination. More recently the Kansas Indians have brought in 
the ore, through whom, and by paying for it, they have privately revealed the secret. The 
rough sketch ( plate 43 i herewith submitted will give you some knowledge of its location. The 
deposit of metal in the form of an oxyde of tin appears to be immense, perhaps surpassing the old 
Cornwall mines of England. 

" Our common country, as you are aware, is almost wholly dependent on foreign countries 
for its supply of this valuable metal ; and its discovery within our reach and on our own soil 
must be regarded as a matter of great interest by all who seek the well-being of their country. 
I feel unwilling, after having labored some and expended something, that this subject should be 
lost sight of ; and I most respectfully beg the favor of you to lay the request, which I now re- 
peat, for a permit to work and explore these mines, before the president and proper authorities 
at Washington, and communicate to me the result. Should it be deemed ( for want of authority ) 
inexpedient to grant the request, I will then seek it elsewhei-e. The mine is too remote from the 
state to be visited by single individuals, being immediately with the range of the Pawnee and 
Comanche war parties. As you will notice, the locality is on the United States' lands not yet 
assigned to any of the Indian tribes. 

"Thus far our informant. It maybe well to add that neither of the three best-known 
species of tin ore can be reduced in an 'ordinary smelting-pan.' The red oxyde of zinc, dis- 
covered in New Jersey by the late Doctor Bruce, it has been found impracticable to separate 
from the franklinite with which it exists, and we may not unnaturally look for similar diffi- 
culties with the reported Western locality of the oxyde of tin. The geological sketch sent by 
Doctor Lykins ( plate 43 ) indicates a country of sandstones, shell rocks, etc., which are unfavor- 
able to the discovery of tin stone, wood tin, etc. If this metal exists as an oxyde. that fact will 
probably itself constitute a discovery. We cannot, from what is known in Europe, exactly pre- 
scribe its associations in the West — such has been the progress of metallic discoveries here : but 
the geology of the country, so far as it is known, is adverse to the theory and anticipations ex- 
pressed. 

" It may also be well to state that, from the known superstitions of the Indians, the Kanza 
account cannot be deemed to be free from all suspicion of insincerity, superstition, or gross self- 
interest. Yet the inquiries of our correspondent are deemed entitled to notice, and if followed 
up. however the subject be now distorted, may prove the means of mineralogical discoveries of 
value." 



Reverend Father Paul M. PonziglioRe. 19 

he had for a tobacco-box an Indian skull sawed in two. It was three-fourths 
of an inch thick, solid bone. Some congenial spirits would gather in, hang a 
few quarters of fat buffalo in a cool place, and for a week or ten days "the 
den" would be a place of joy, story, and song. It was not a disreputable 
resort, such as are found in cities, but a jolly hunters' club-house. Thorn 
usually hunted alone. This was bad policy, but we all did it sometimes. 
His last hunt was on Plum creek, alone. He made his camp by the creek, 
turned out his team, and had gone down the bank for a bucket of water to 
make coffee, when a party of Cheyennes surprised and killed him with ar- 
rows, and in scalping him took ears and all, to get the fringe of hair on his 
head. His body was found and given Christian burial. 



REVEREND FATHER PAUL M. PONZIGLIONE.* 

An address by S. W. Brewster, ' of Chanute, delivered before the Kansas State Historical 
Society, at its twenty-ninth annual meeting, December 6, 1904. 

LOVE always expresses itself in service. He who lives forever in the 
minds and hearts of his countrymen has loved humanity. Through 
humble, daily service, in kindly deeds to the unfortunate of earth, men be- 
come truly great. 

History is not an impartial critic. By reason of material prosperity, one 
may be considered great in his day and generation, but such greatness "is 
oft interred with his bones." Croesus is remembered for but one thing- 
wealth. In history, he is a cold proposition. The name Nero produces a 
creeping, cringing sensation which time never can obliterate. But to be 
lovingly reverenced by all generations, one must be a Buddha, a Socrates, a 
Savonarola, or a Ponziglione. 

It often happens that, after great institutions are founded and immortal 
characters are built, the suggestive thought back of it all is forgotten. 
Oftener it is unknown to the world. In considering Osage Mission and the 
life-work of Father Paul M. Ponziglione, as missionary among the Indians, 
one would hardly anticipate a suggestion coming directly or indirectly from 
the great statesman, John C. Calhoun. 

In the year 1823, when Calhoun was secretary of war under President 
Monroe, the Right Reverend Louis Dubourg, bishop of Upper and Lower 
Louisiana, consulted the president and secretary of war in regard to 
devising means for the education of Indian children within his diocese. 

* The writer is greatly indebted to many of Father Paul's old friends and parishioners for 
the use of most valuable historical papers, books, and documents. And, in this connection, he 
wishes to mention in particular W. W. Graves, editor of the St. Paul Jotirnal: Hon. L. Stillwell, 
of Erie, judge of the seventh judicial district ; Dr. E. B. Park, of Chanute ; and M. Devine, Rob- 
ert E. Greenwall, Miss Flora Greenwall, Mrs. M. Barnes, Miss Maggie Barnes, Mrs. J. H. Tep- 
fer, W. P. Mason, Dr. C. L. Roland, and Miss Maggie O'Dwyer, of St. Paul.— s. w. B. 

Note 1.— Samuel Wheeler Brewster was born on a farm in Bartholomew county, In- 
diana. His father, Marshall Brewster, was born in Berkshire county, Massachusetts, December 
15, 1801, and died at Thayer, Kan.. September 25, 1871. He was a graduate of Williams College, 
and was a descendant of William Brewster, of the Mayflower. Marshall Brewster, December 18,. 
1836, married Chloe K. Smith. She was educated at Warren, Ohio, and served several years as a 
teacher. Samuel W. Brewster was the youngest of six children. He came to Kansas at the age 
of fourteen. He maintained himself by clerking in a store, and all sorts of chores, while secur- 
ing an education. He began in Kansas by teaching school. He attended Baker University and 
the Leavenworth Normal, and in 1876 entered the Kansas State University. He graduated 
from the classical course in 1883. In 1879 he married Hattie M. Wills, a prominent school- 
teacher in Neosho county. They have four children. In 1883 Mr. Brewster formed a law part- 
nership with Amos S. Lapham, of Chanute, and the firm still exists. He read law with 
Hutchings & Summerfield, in Lawrence. 



20 Kansas State Historical Society. 

Mr. Calhoun suggested the advisability of asking the Jesuit priests of Mary- 
land to furnish members of their order to assist in such work. At White 
Marsh, Prince George county, Maryland, there were a number of young 
priests who, in 1821, had come with Rev. Charles Nerinckx from Europe 
for the purpose of devoting their lives to missionary work. Rev. Charles 
Van Quickenborne, a Belgian priest from Ghent, was then master of novices 
at White Marsh. He had come to the United States in 1817, hoping to 
become a Jesuit missionary among the Indians. 

Bishop Dubourg conveyed Mr. Calhoun's suggestion to Father Van 
Quickenborne, at White Marsh, who at once saw the great opportunity of 
realizing his life hope — to be a missionary among the Indians. 

On making known this newly suggested plan to the young priests who 
had come to the United States with Father Nerinckx, six of them, Belgians, 
immediately volunteered to accompany Father Van Quickenborne on his 
distant missionary journey to the West. 

Bishop Dubourg generously offered to donate to these Maryland Jesuits a 
rich farm at Florissant, near the Missouri river, and to put them in posses- 
sion of his own church and residence in St. Louis. 

A more complete account of the establishment of the Jesuit society in 
Missouri is given in an exceedingly interesting book entitled "Historical 
Sketches of the St. Louis University," by Walter H. Hill, S. J. 

In 1827 Father Van Quickenborne left this Jesuit home in Missouri and 
made his first visit to the land of the Osage Indians in southern Kansas. 

He made two other visits to the Osages— in 1829 and 1830. But the noble 
work of the Jesuits among the Osage Indians took on permanent and lasting 
character in the spring of 1847, when they built a church and established 
schools at the place where Father Van Quickenborne first acquainted these 
untutored savages with the virtues of the Christian religion.' 

For nearly half a century this place was known as Osage Mission. Then, 
without regard for historic association, through an unfortunate and mis- 
taken notion entertained by some of the leading citizens, the name was 
changed to St. Paul April 12, 1895. The town is located in Neosho county, 
Kansas, about ten miles southeast of the geographical center of the county, 
near the beautiful Neosho river. 

There is a beautiful legend ( which can hardly be called a legend, for want 
of age to make it such) that Father Van Quickenborne was the "Black 
Robe chief" of the mission where Longfellow's Evangeline, 

"Just as the sun went down, . . . heard a murmur of voices, 
And in a meadow green and broad, by the bank of a river. 
Saw the tents of the Christians, the tents of the Jesuit mission." 

" Under a towering oak, that stood in the midst of the village, 
Knelt the Black Robe chief with his children. A crucifix fastened 
High on the trunk of the tree, and overshadowed by grape-vines. 
Looked with its agonized face on the multitude kneeling beneath it. 
This was their rural chapel. Aloft, through the intricate arches 
Of its aerial roof, arose the chant of their vespers. 
Mingling its notes with the soft susurrus and sighs of the branches." 

It is here pertinent to mention that the Presbyterian church, ^ for several 

Note 2. — Presbyterian missions were established among the Osages at Harmony, on the Ma- 
rais des Cygnes, in western Missouri in 1821, and on the Neosho, in the Indian Territory, as early 
as 1821. Rev. Benson Pixley in 1824 opened a mission near the present villagelof Shaw, Neosho 



Reverend Father Paul M. Ponziglione. 21 

years previous to 1845, had partly maintained a mission among the Osage In- 
dians of southeastern Kansas. It was located about two and one-half miles 
north and west of the Catholic mission, on what is now generally known as 
the James O'Brien farm, on the left or east bank of Four Mile creek, and 
about one-fourth mile from its junction with the Neosho. Here the Presby- 
terian missionaries lived and preached in a large building ; but tradition has 
it that these Indians never took kindly to Calvinistic doctrines. In a letter 
written by Reverend Father Bax to Father De Smet, the noted Jesuit mission- 
ary, under date June 1, 1850, the writer quotes a speech made by an Indian 
chief to Major Harvey, superintendent of the Indian tribes, who was por- 
traying to the Indians the advantages of a good education. As given by 
Father Bax, the speech is as follows : 

' ' Our great father is very kind ; he loves his red-skinned children. Hear 
what we have to say on this subject. We do not wish any more such mis- 
sionaries as we have had during several years ; for they never did us any 
good. Send them to the whites ; they may succeed better with them. If 
our great father desires that we have missionaries, you will tell him to send 
us Black-gowns, who will teach us to pray to the Great Spirit in the French 
manner. Although several years have elapsed since they have visited us, we 
always remember the visit with gratitude, and we shall be ever ready to re- 
ceive them among us and to listen to their preaching." 

It would be impossible to give a fair sketch of Father Ponziglione and 
his work among the Osage Indians without mentioning two very important 
personages closely connected with him in his labors — Reverend Father John 
Schoenmakers and Mother Superior Bridget Hayden — the first, a young 
Jesuit priest from Holland, and the second, a nun of the order of the Sisters 
of Loretto, from Kentucky. 

As the advent of these two noted people among the Osage Indians pre- 
ceded the coming of Father Ponziglione by about four years, no better his- 
torical comment on that time and place can be given than to quote extracts 
from a speech made by Reverend Father Schoenmakers September 24, 1870, 
on the occasion of opening the mill on Flat Rock creek, just east of Osage 
Mission. The reverend father said, in part : 

"On Christmas day, 1833, I landed on American soil at New York, being 
a young priest twenty-four years old. I had left Holland with the intention 
of living and dying with the Indians." 

Having gone directly to Georgetown College (Jesuit), Maryland, Father 
Schoenmakers there received much inspiration, and entered upon a long, 
disciplinarian training. To resume his narrative: 

"Before I reached the field of my labor fourteen years elapsed. On 
the 10th of May, 1847, I gathered into our school ten Indian boys. Then I 
visited Kentucky, where I obtained the assistance of the Sisters of Loretto 
for the girls. Before 1860, the number of pupils had increased to 136 boys 
and 100 girls. . . . 

"The war deprived the Osages of all their labor and prospects. The 
youths of our school above the age of fifteen joined the Union army; 500 
Osages had gone south, and of the remaining 3000, four companies also 
joined the army. New trials were now upon us. Major Whitney, a special 
agent, had brought provisions for the destitute Osages, while John Matthews, 
my old friend, whose five children I had raised in school, raised an alarm, 

county, and another was established in 1831 by the Rev. Nathaniel B. Dodge on the east bank of 
the Neosho, near its junction with Four Mile creek. These missions continued their work until 
1836 or 1837. -r/ie Herald, published monthly by the American Board of Commissioners for For- 
eign Missions, 1821-'36. 



22 Kansas State Historical Society. 

entreating the Indians to regard the provisions as poisonous. This occurrence 
alienated me from my old friend Matthews, and I was obliged to spend eight 
months at St. Marys, Pottawatomie county. On my return to the Osage 
Mission, in March, 1862, the Osages were divided. Frequent intercourse with 
their southern relatives increased our dangers. The southern Osages, accom- 
panied by the Cherokees, invaded our mission three times to sack and burn 
it, but being associated with old pupils of our school and parents whose chil- 
dren were still at the mission, their counsel prevailed in sparing us, and, 
thereby, their own interests. 

' ' But our dangei's now enlarged on account of the avarice and bigotry of 
pretended friends of the Union, and if Gen. Charles W. Blair had not been a 
true friend of the mission, it could not have escaped destruction. Our friends, 
Colonels Thurston, of Humboldt ( Kan.), and Brown, of lola ( Kan.), checked 
the malice of some ill-designing leaders; but General Blair had the will and 
power to save southern Kansas. The Osages, during these hard times, visited 
me by day and by night. Should my advice to them have been withdrawn, I 
have reason to believe that Osage City, Humboldt, lola, Le Roy, Burlington 
and Ottawa would have been laid in ashes by the united Osages and Cherokees. 

"God had spared us all. And in September, 1865, whilst the Osages sold 
and transferred a part of their lands, they have made thousands of homes 
for white families. As the whites settled first around our mission, the idea 
struck me of a mission town. General Blair was to be remunerated, if pos- 
sible, and Governor Crawford [this doubtless refers to Gov. George A. 
Crawford] wrote me a letter congenial to my plan. The town took a start, 
whilst Sam. Williams and Ben. McDonald brought us a mill. 

"Mission town being started and prosperous, I withdrew from partner- 
ship, for conscience sake, fearing that questions might arise not in conform- 
ity with God's law, and which might blast all my past labors." 

While Father Shoenmakers was the actual founder of Osage Mission, he 
had been preceded, as said heretofore, by Father Van Quickenborne, in 
1827, who in turn was preceded by Rev. Charles de la Croix, in 1822. The 
particular incident recorded of Father de la Croix's visit to the Osages was 
the baptism of two Indian children, James and Francis Choteau — the first 
within this state. 

The first marriage ceremony of record within the state was that of 
Francis Daybeau, a half-breed, and Mary, an Osage woman, performed by 
Father Van Quickenborne in 1828— both the baptism and marriage cere- 
monies occurring where Osage Mission was subsequently founded. 

Father Shoenmakers died July 28, 1883, at the age of seventy-six. His 
death caused universal sadness throughout both Catholic and Protestant 
communities, for he was loved and reverenced by all who knew him. He 
was buried in the Catholic cemetery at Osage Mission, where a simple mar- 
ble slab marks his grave; but his noble life stands as a lasting monument 
for generations to come. 

Mother Bridget Hayden, the cowoi-ker with Fathers Schoemakers and 
Ponziglione, was born in 1815. October 5, 1848, she arrived at Osage Mis- 
sion with a small band of Sisters of Loretto from Kentucky, and at once 
established a school for the education of Indian girls. This school grew very 
rapidly, and, with the settlement of the country, its privileges were extended 
to the white girls. Soon an academy, or boarding-school, was started, the 
first boarding-school for girls in Kansas. The popularity of this academy 
extended beyond the borders of the state, so that, in a few years, several 
states and territories were represented on the roster of the school. This 
institution was maintained until September, 1895, when the buildings were 
destroyed by fire, and never have been rebuilt. The Sisters of Loretto hav- 



Reverend Father Paul M. Ponziglione. 23 

ing left the mission after the fire, other sisters started a day-school ; but 
only the picturesque ruins remain on the site of this once popular and fa- 
mous academy. 

Mother Bridget continued in charge of the girls' school for about forty 
years, and until the day of her death. She was a most lovable character. 
Eminently practical, her generosity knew no bounds. Her hand was always 
outstretched to the weak and needy. Many a poor girl, with no way or 
means of acquiring an education, was lovingly helped by Mother Bridget 
through St. Ann's Academy. 

In 1870 Noble L. Prentis visited Osage Mission. Upon the death of 
Mother Bridget, some years later, Mr. Prentis, recalling this visit, paid a 
tender tribute to this saintly woman in an editorial article, from which the 
following extract is taken: 

"It was at this visit that the writer met, for the first and last time, 
Bridget Hayden, known to the world as Mother Bridget. Born in 1815, her 
hair was white in 1870. She had passed through, in her earlier years in the 
wilderness, quite enough to change its color. She was a woman of com- 
manding look, and spoke in a firm, resolute but quiet way, as one should, 
accustomed to impress herself on human creatures brought to her as wild as 
any bird or beast in all their native prairies ; this she had done and more— she 
had gained their affections. The conversation which she held at once took a 
religious turn, and the listener would be very ungrateful if he did not re- 
member that Mother Bridget, as well she might from the privilege of her 
years, spoke to him like a mother indeed, not of churches and creeds, but 
of the necessity of personal righteousness." 

It is easy to do good when no sacrifices are required. Too often the best 
preacher is "called" to the best-paying place. But the greatest manifesta- 
tion and supreme test of religious worth and nobility of character is when 
the preacher or priest renounces once and forever all the alluring fascina- 
tions of position, wealth and honor to cast his lot with the less fortunate 
of earth's children, and devote his energies and abilities to the uplifting of 
humanity. 

Paul M. Ponziglione was born Febi-uary 11, 1818, in the city of Chei-asco, 
in Piedmont, Italy. He was of noble descent on both sides of the house— 
his father being Count Felice Ferrero Ponziglione di Borgo d'Ales, and his 
mother. Countess Ferrero Ponziglione, nee Marchioness Ferrero Castelnuovo. 
But the only nobility the good father ever acknowledged was that he be- 
longed to "the noble family of Adam." Whenever his lineage was men- 
tioned, he would peremptorily dismiss the subject with a quick, vigorous 
shaking of his right hand, making his long, slender fingei'S appear like so 
many missiles caught in a whirlwind, and exclaiming, with an impatient 
turn of his head, "Vanity, vanity, vanity!" 

Father Paul, as he was commonly called, was christened Count Paul M. 
Ferrero Ponziglione di Borgo d'Ales. After his pi-eliminary education, he 
entered the Royal College of Novara, and later he attended the College of 
Nobles at Turin, both being Jesuit institutions. The degree of bachelor 
of arts was conferred upon him by the University of Turin. 

After taking his degree at the university, he studied jurisprudence for 
more than a year. But there seems to have been with Father Paul an in- 
born, manifest destiny for the priesthood. A religious instinct controlled 
him from the earliest years of his life. As a small boy, playing with his 
little sister in his father's palace gardens, he was accustomed to don the 



24 Kansas State Historical Society. 

vestments of the priest. This seems to have aroused the childish jealousy 
of his sister, and to all his grave arguments that only boys and men could 
be priests, she turned a deaf ear. 

In this connection Father Paul once related a pathetic incident to a friend 
in Osage Mission. When a boy, in representing himself as a priest, Paul 
would assume the serious, severe attitude, in contrast to the little girl's 
laughing, joyous disposition. And in after-years, when the sister had en- 
tered a convent adjoining the monastery where her brother was preparing 
for his priestly calling, the echo of her girlish laughter, vibrating through 
the sacred stillness of his surroundings, often fell harshly upon the ears of 
the young novice engaged in his devotions. As yet, with the overzealous- 
ness of youth, he could not understand how a heart devoted to God could 
harbor any but solemn, religious thoughts. So, upon one occasion, he repri- 
manded his sister, in the presence of the mother superior, for her light- 
heartedness ; but, in turn, he was reprimanded by the mother superior, who, 
by reason of many years of experience, comprehended religious life from a 
different standpoint. But there came a change, a brief sickness, and the 
lovely spirit of the young sister passed out from the gray convent walls into 
the pure delights of the city beautiful. Now, after more than half a century, 
the aged priest, broadened by years of loving, consecrated service to human- 
kind, longed to hear again the echoed music of that girlish laughter. 

The luxuries of wealth, the pomp and splendor of the Italian court, had 
no fascinations for young Paul. In 1839 he entered the novitiate of the 
Society of Jesus at Chieri, near Turin. Here he experienced the ordinary 
training of young Jesuits, and under it he developed that deep earnestness 
and single-heartedness which so characterized his entire life. 

The year 1848 found Father Paul connected with the Jesuit college in 
Genoa. It was an eventful period in Italian history. There were foes with- 
out and foes within. Austria was recognized as a common enemy to all Italy. 
Three principal factions, strong among the Italians, were striving for national 
supremacy. One faction wanted a republic, another wanted a confederation, 
with the pope at its head, and the third wished to make Italy a constitutional 
monarchy to be ruled by the king of Sardinia. 

On the night of February 28 of this year, the principal revolutionists in 
Genoa, belonging to the third faction just mentioned, arrested eighteen de- 
fenseless Jesuit priests at the college, and hurried them to the palace of the 
governor. One poor lay brother, stricken with age and sickness, was left 
behind. Father Paul, ostensibly, was allowed to remain with him in the 
capacity of nurse. The true reason, however, was that these revolutionists 
at that time were in doubt as to the advisability of laying hands upon the 
young nobleman- priest who was related to so many powerful families in Italy. 
But the governor sided with the revolutionists, and the next day Father Paul 
was conducted to the palace under strong military guard. That night all the 
Jesuit priests were put on board a Sardinian man of war and lodged in the hull 
of the ship, where they were confined as prisoners for three days. They were 
then transported to Spenzia, where a furious mob, confederates of the revo- 
lutionists, met them with sticks and stones. Father Paul was seriously 
wounded in the head. But the Jesuits made their escape to Modena, across 
whose borders the revolutionists dared not follow. Once in Modena, the 




REV. FATHER PAUL M. PONZIGLIONE. 




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Reverend Father Paul M. Ponziglione. 25 

Jesuits, with the exception of Father Paul, took to the mountains. He de- 
termined to go to Rome, and thence to the United States. 

After overcoming many serious difficulties, by the financial help of a 
friend, he finally reached Rome on the eve of the outbreak of the revolution 
there. The life of Pope Pius IX was then in danger. His prime minister 
and private secretary had been murdered. Only the loyal Swiss Guard stood 
between his holiness and the revolutionists. Father Paul, under the direc- 
tion of the father general, was received at San Andrea, the famous Jesuit 
novitiate at Rome, to prepare for the taking of holy orders. On March 25, 
1848, he was ordained a priest by Cardinal-vicar Constantine Patrizi. 

Leaving Rome, he first went to Turin to settle his family affairs. From 
there he proceeded to Paris, at that time the scene of those terrible dissensions 
incident to the establishment of the second republic. From Paris he went 
to Havre, and there boarded the first vessel for New York. 

The ship was bad, the sea was rough, and the journey long — lasting 
forty-eight days. Added to the horrors of the situation, smallpox broke out 
among the passengers. But the young priest met all of these trials and 
dangers with unfailing cheerfulness and unfaltering courage. 

After spending a few days in New York city, Father Paul went to St. 
Xavier's College, at Cincinnati, where he remained for a month. 

While still in Italy, he had determined to spend his life as a missionary 
among the American Indians, and in pursuance of this resolve he had offered 
himself as such to the Rev. Anthony Elet, S. J., superior of the western 
Jesuits in the United States. Soon thereafter Father Elet sent him word 
that the general of the Jesuit society had assigned him to their mission in 
Missouri. 

Upon leaving St. Xavier's College Father Paul proceeded directly to St. 
Louis and reported to Father Elet, who immediately assigned him to mis- 
sionary work in Missouri and Kentucky. He spent two years in this field 
and then returned to St. Louis. 

Now begins the realization of his early hopes — the commencement of his 
real life-work among the Indians. In March, 1851, accompanied by the 
Right Reverend Miege, S. J., bishop of Leavenworth, Father Paul left St. 
Louis for his far western mission. While his home was to be at Osage Mis- 
sion, and his particular charge the Osages, his missionary labors extended 
from Fremont Peak, Wyo., to Fort Sill, I. T. 

Father Paul M. Ponziglione was now a young man thirty-three years of 
age, a little above medium height, of slender build, and possessing an at- 
tractive personahty. Much has been said of the personal beauty of the man. 
His features were aristocratic, of the distinctly higher ItaHan type. His 
large, well-shaped head was crowned with a luxuriant growth of close, jetty 
curls; the forehead, high and broad, betokened great intellectuality; the 
eyes, though dark and penetrating, were mild in expression, and tempered 
with a bare suggestion of sadness; his nose was somewhat of the Grecian 
type, and the thin, firmly closed lips slightly drooped at the corners. The 
chin, though prominent, was in symmetry with the rest of his face. 

Every one who knew the good father speaks of the radiant kindliness of 
his greeting smile, which was but the "outward and visible sign of an in- 
ward and spiritual grace." Upon his countenance at all times dwelt that 
"beauty of holiness," far surpassing any earthly beauty. 



26 Kansas State Historical Society. 

The following brief extracts from a letter written by Father Paul to the 
publisher of the Osage Mission Journal, under date of June 10, 1868, give 
some additional light upon the historic founding of Osage Mission by Father 
Schoenmakers, and the condition of the Osage Indian tribes at that time: 

" It is a difficult thing to state when the Osages for the first time pitched 
their camps on the beautiful banks of the Neosho. ■ However, we can record 
some few facts which might one day prove interesting in forming a history 
of the early settlement of this part of the Neosho valley, now known as 
Neosho county. . . . 

"The Osages, having made a treaty with the United States government, 
obliged themselves to vacate the state of Missouri and withdraw into Kansas, 
then generally known under the name of Western Indian Territory. . . . 

"In 1827 Father Van Quick enborne, from Harmony, Mo., came to visit 
the Osages on Neosho river in this very country, where they had just begun 
to form permanent settlements. These, however, were not confined to this 
county, but were in two great divisions— one we might call of the Neosho, 
the other of the Verdigris, each containing from six to nine Indian towns, 
and each having its respective chief. But as the head chief of the whole 
Osage nation resided on the Neosho, and had his house built on what is now 
called Auguste creek (now corrupted into Ogeese creek), and his people 
were forming their towns, sometimes on the west and at others on the east 
side of the Neosho, on the very identical spot where now rises our beautiful 
town (Osage Mission) ; so this place was considered from the earlier days as 
the place of business. 

"The Indian towns of the first division extended from the confluence of 
Labette creek with the Neosho to that of Owl creek into the same river. 
Those of the second division extended from the junction of Pumpkin creek 
to that of Chetopa creek, both with the Verdigris river. 

"The half-breed settlement was mostly located between what is now 
called Canville creek and Flat Rock creek. The mechanics allowed to the 
Osages under their late treaty with the United States were located on Flat 
Rock creek, and the principal establishment of the American Fur Company 
was on Canville creek. But as the agency was located for a considerable 
time not far from the mouth of Flat Rock, so our present town site was 
considered the most important settlement on the Neosho. . . . 

Note 3.— About fifty-eight or sixty miles up the Verdigrise is situate the Osage village. 
This band, some four or five years since, were led by the chief Cashesegra to the waters of the 
Arkansaw. at the request of Pierre Chouteau, for the purpose of securing their trade. The ex- 
clusive trade of the Osage river having at that time been purchased from the Spanish governor 
by Manuel Lisa, of St. Louis; but though Cashesegi-a be the nominal leader. Clermont, or the 
Builder of Towns, is the greatest warrior and most influential man, and is now more firmly attached 
to the interests of the Americans than any other chief of the nation. He is the lawful sovereign 
of the Grand Osages. but his hereditary right was usurped by Pahuska, or White Hair, whilst 
Clermont was yet an infant. White Hair, in fact, is a chief of Chouteau's creating, as well as 
Cashesegra, and neither have the power or disposition to restrain their young men from the per- 
petration of an improper act. fearing lest they should render themselves unpopular. — Lieut. 
James B. Wilkinson's report of his passage down the Arkansaw, etc.. New Orleans, April 6, 1807. 
Appendix to part II, p. 30, of Pike's Expeditions, 1810. 

"2d. The Great Osages of the Osage river. — They live in one village on the Osage river, 
seventy-eight miles ( measured ) due south of Fort Osage. They hunt over a very great extent 
of country, comprising the Osage, Gasconade and Neeozho rivers and their numerous branches. 
They also hunt on the heads of the St. Francis and White rivers and on the Arkansaw. I rate 
them at about 1200 souls, 350 of whom are warriors and hunters, fifty or sixty superannuated, 
and the rest women and children. 

"3d. The Great Osac/cs of the Neeozho. — About 130 or 140 miles southwest of Fort Osage ; 
one village on the Neeozho river. They hunt pretty much in common with the tribe of the O.sage 
river, from which they separated six or eight years ago. This village contains about 400 souls, of 
whom about 100 are warriors and hunters, some ten or fifteen aged persons, and the rest are 
women and children. 

"4th. The Little Osapes. — Three villages on the Neeozho river, from 120 to 140 miles south- 
west of this place. This tribe, comprising all three villages, and comprehending about twenty 
families of Missouries that are intermarried with them, I rate at about 1000 souls, about 300 of 
whom are hunters and warriors, twenty or thirty superannuated, and the rest are women and 
children. They hunt pretty much in common with the other tribes of Osages mentioned, and 
frequently on the head waters of the Kansas, some of the branches of which interlock with 
these of the Neeozho." — Letter from G. C. Sibley, factor at Fort Osage, to Thomas L. McKenney, 
October 1. 1820. Appendix to Morse's Report on Indian Affairs, 1822, p. 203. 



Reverend Father Paul M. Ponziglione. 27 

" Father Charles Van Quickenborne having died in 1828,^ the spiritual 
care of the Osages was transferred to the fathers of the St. Mary's mission 
among the Pottawatomie Indians, then located on the Big Sugar creek, in 
Linn county, where now rises the town of Paris. These fathers visited the 
Osages as regularly as they could from 1829 to 1847 ; when, the Osages hav- 
ing requested Right Reverend Peter R. Kendrick, bishop of St. Louis, for a 
Catholic school, Reverend Father John Schoenmakers was appointed as su- 
perior of this mission, and reached this place on the 29th day of April, 1847. 

"Father Schoenmakers took possession of the two buildings, yet unfin- 
ished, which had just been put up for the use of this new mission by order 
of the Indian department. Meanwhile, while Father Schoenmakers was hav- 
ing these buildings completed, his companion, Father John Bax, went about 
visiting among the Osages, speaking to them with great zeal on the impor- 
tance of becoming civilized and embracing Christianity. They were pleased, 
and having offered him several of their children that he might give them a 
Christian education, he promised he would return after them soon. On the 
10th day of May, the houses being finished, he collected a small number of 
Osage children and brought them in— and so began, on that day, the Osage 
manual-labor school on the very spot on which it now stands. Of the two 
buildings, one was used for the Indian boys, and the other was kept for a 
female department. 

"On the 5th day of October, 1847, several Sisters of Loretto having 
come from the state of Kentucky to devote themselves to the education of 
Indian girls, the present convent was opened, and has been flourishing to this 
day. 

"In a short time these two houses became too small to accommodate 
the pupils who were brought in, and it became necessary to enlarge the 
buildings, and, next, to multiply them. So Father Schoenmakers went to 
work and, first building a nice church, he, by degrees, added other houses, 
which gave this institution the appearance of quite a town. 

"The church was dedicated in honor of St. Francis of Jerome, and was 
soon looked upon as the terminus of a holy pilgrimage, which most of the 
Catholics living in a circuit of fifty to eighty miles would once a year per- 
form to comply with their Christian duties. 

"The fathers, who with Father John Schoenmakers, attended the mis- 
sion, visited the adjacent tribes of such as the New York Indians, Miamis, 
Peorias, Sacs and Foxes, Quapaws, and others residing south of the old 
Santa Fe road, and established among them, as well as the white Catholic 
settlers scattered here and there over a wide extent of country some 200 
miles in diameter, several missionary stations, which they visited from time 
to time. But this Osage mission was always considered the mother-house 
from which all the other stations were supplied. . . . 

"Every year the time of paying annuities was a time of great merriment 
with our Indians. The nation would, on such an occasion, come here and 
build their camps around us; and nearly every season some other tribe would 
come to pay a visit to the Osages. Sometimes you would see the Sacs and 
Foxes, sometimes the Kaws or Otoes, at another the Kiowas and Comanches. 
The object of these visits was to renew their old friendships, which they did 
by smoking the calumet, playing war-dances, and running horse-races, to 
the great amusement of their white visitors, who used to be present in large 
numbers. 

"The time of payment was likewise time of rendezvous for traders and 
travelers of every description. All would come to the mission, which really 
was an oasis in the desert, for no settlement then existed nearer than Fort 
Scott, forty miles away; and all who came stopped with us, either to rest 
their teams, to repair their wagons, or to supply themselves with provisions. 
So it is that Osage Mission came, with all truth, to be called the cradle of 
civilization in the Neosho valley." 

During the first twenty years of Father Paul's life among the Osages 

Note 4.— Rev. Charles Felix Van Quickenborne was born in Ghent in 1788, and died 
near St. Charles. Mo., August 17, 1837.-De Smet, 1905. vol. 1, p. 151. 



28 Kansas State Historical Society. 

they remained in southeastern Kansas. This was one of the brightest periods 
in their history. In a letter to W. W. Graves, editor of the St. Paul Journal, 
under date of August 28, 1899, the aged priest writes: 

" In those days, which I might as well call preadamitic, the Osages were 
having their golden age. Ana why not ? Their poor wigwams, scattered 
here and there around the mission log houses, were forming the largest set- 
tlement in southern Kansas. . . . The Osage nation, under the great 
chief, George White Hair, and the mission schools, under the management 
of Father John Schoenmakers, were the only points then considered of any 
importance by the Indian department, whose commissioners frequently visited 
us." 

And these were golden days for Father Ponziglione. He was working out 
among those wild people, in what was then called the " Great American Des- 
ert," the ambition of his youth. From the time he was first met, many miles 
from the mission, by Indian couriers, sent to conduct him to his new home, to 
the day of his death, he was their loving father and counselor. He was the 
court of last resort for their individual and public grievances. He was their 
honored guest upon all occasions of feasting and merrymaking. He bap- 
tised their children, and was "a light unto their feet" in all the ways of 
education and righteousness. He united their young men and women in 
marriage. He ministered alike to their physical and spiritual needs. He 
watched by their death-beds and administered the last sacrament. There was 
no road too rough, no distance too great, no weather too hot or too cold, no 
vigil too long or lonely, when suffering humanity called Father Paul. Well 
might he have said: 

"The deaths ye have died I have watched beside, 
And the lives ye have lived were mine. ' ' 

The particular scope of Father Ponziglione 's mission work in Kansas ex- 
tended from Cherokee county north to Miami county, thence to Fort Larned, 
Pawnee county, and on through the counties along the southern state line, 
back to the home mission. He was the first to spread the Gospel in thirty 
of the counties of the state included in the circuit just mentioned. He also 
penetrated the wild regions of the Indian Territory, and established missionary 
stations at the Indian agencies and military posts as far south as Fort Sill, 
near the Texas line. So this noble father and his self-sacrificing coworkers, 
starting from the mother church at Osage Mission, within forty years estab- 
lished 180 Catholic missions, eighty-seven of which were in southern Kansas 
and twenty-one in the Indian Territory. 

The great reverence in which Father Paul was held by all Indians from 
his first acquaintance with them, and the extent of his reputation as their 
friend, is shown by the following incident: 

In the early fifties he was overtaken by a band of wild Indians near where 
Fort Scott now stands. Not knowing him, the savages held a short council, 
and then prepared to burn him at the stake. When he had been firmly 
bound and all things were ready to carry out their purpose, an Indian woman 
came and gazed intently upon his face for a minute. A flash of recognition 
passed over her countenance, and she threw up her hands in dismay. Then 
turning to his captors [she spoke a few quick words, and they as quickly re- 
leased him from his bonds. Then they had nothing too great to offer him, 
and, in their uncouth way, made every demonstration of friendliness. 

The father's deep interest in spiritual affairs was extended to all hu- 



Reverend Father Paul M. Ponziglione. 29 

manity, and his watchful care over his people never waned. It is related 
by one of his old parishioners that in the early days, while traveling through 
the Flint Hills of Kansas, then sparsely settled, night overtook the parishioner 
far from any human habitation save one. Thjs was a one-roomed house, oc- 
cupied by mother and son. It was a time to try men's nerves, and every 
one looked upon a stranger with a degree of suspicion. The traveler was 
not favorably impressed with the surroundings, and retired for the night 
with some misgivings and a general feeling of uneasiness. A curtain sep- 
arated his bed from the rest of the room. Soon there came to his ears the 
low voice of prayer— the mother and son telling the beads on their rosaries. 
With a feeling of peace and security he fell asleep. In the morning he 
asked his hostess how she kept her faith alive, so far from church and re- 
ligious associations. "Oh," she replied, "Father Paul Ponziglione never 
fails to visit us at least once a year." 

In 1870 the Osages withdrew forever from Kansas into the Indian Terri- 
tory, but Father Paul never once relaxed his watchfulness over his red 
children. It was his unvarying custom to meet pei'sonally every member of 
the tribe once a year. His dun-colored ponies and white-canvas-topped 
spring wagon were a familiar sight to thousands of people. His usual course 
of travel from the home mission to the territory was by the notorious 
Bender place. On one of these trips, it became necessary for him to stop 
for the night with the Benders. The father's suspicions were aroused by 
seeing old man Bender place a large hammer behind the curtain near the 
supper-table, and afterwards engage in a low conversation with his daughter, 
Kate. Something seemed to say to him, "You must leave this place at 
once." Under the pretext of seeing to his ponies, which were restless and 
would not eat, he left the house and made good his escape. Father Ponziglione 
often expressed the belief that he owed his life to the timely heeding of the 
warning voice within him.^ 

That beautiful edifice in Osage Mission, widely known as St. Francis 
Church, and the most imposing structure of its kind in the state, with the 
exception of the Catholic cathedral at Leavenworth, is one of the many evi- 
dences of Father Paul's indefatigable energy and untiring devotion to the 
Catholic faith. Without accident, the sacred building will stand for centu- 
ries. The masonry of the building is unsurpassed by any in workmanship and 
solidity. The walls, which are of sandstone, two and one-half feet thick, rise 
thirty-two feet at the lowest point, and sixty-seven feet at the highest 
point, from the level of the floor. The belfry tower, twenty-four by twenty- 

NOTE 5. — The Bender family, consisting of four persons, father, mother, son, and daughter, 
lived in Labette county, two miles south of Moorehead station, on the Southern Kansas branch 
of the Santa Fe, and ten miles from Thayer. There was no other house within three-fourths of 
a mile of it. For some time there had been repeated stories of missing people, but all without 
friends to push an investigation. Finally, in the spring of 1873, Dr. William York was missing. 
He left friends who made a determined investigation. They were led to examine the garden of 
the Bender family. The Benders fled hastily, and the neighbors made a thorough examination 
of the premises. A sunken place suggested a grave, and a sharp iron instrument was sunk into 
the ground without difficulty. Five feet below was found a human body distorted and partly de- 
composed and clothed in an undershirt. It was recognized as the body of William York. The 
next day seven more bodies were dug up. and all recognized save one: George W. Longcor and 
daughter, of Iowa ; George Brown, of Howard county, Kansas ; William McCrothy, of Howard 
county ; H. T. McKenzie, of Indiana, and a Mr. Boyle. The throat of every victim was cut. 
There was a trap-door in the house large enough to admit a body, and, directly beneath, a pit six 
feet deep. The gi-ound in this pit was covered with clotted blood. It is supposed that the vic- 
tims stopped for a drink of water or something to eat. By the table at which guests were seated 
was stretched a canvas, and from behind this canvas the guests received their death blow from 
an iron hammer. The daughter was a clairvoyant who ruled the house through supernatural 
power. The Benders were pursued, and the truth of history compels us to say that neither the 
pursuers or the family have been heard from since. 



30 Kansas State Historical Society. 

four feet, is of stone, and it is seventy feet to the top of the masonry on 
on which the bell rests. All this is capped by thirty-two feet of wooden 
structure, making the complete height of the tower 102 feet. One hundred 
and twenty car-loads of sand and plaster material were used in the con- 
struction of the building. The foundation cost $7000; $23,440 were paid to 
mechanics for wages; the doors and windows were $5800; then came the 
great altar, the side altars, the heating apparatus, the immense pipe-organ, 
and other furnishings, making the entire cost of the building, as it now 
stands, $90,000. 

Owing to the great liberality manifested by Catholics everywhere, even 
the full-blooded Osages, then residing in the Indian Territory, contributing, 
this magnificent church was absolutely free from debt when, on the 11th 
day of May, 1884, it was solemnly dedicated to St. Francis de Hieronymo, 
by the Right Reverend John Hogan, D. D., bishop of Kansas City, Mo. 

On February 27, 1889, Father Ponziglione celebrated his golden jubilee at 
Osage Mission, the occasion being the fiftieth anniversary of his admission 
into the Jesuit society. Many thousands of people were present. Men of 
national reputation and high church connections came great distances to pay 
tribute to one of the most generally beloved characters in the American 
Catholic church. 

The following lines are taken from the beautiful salutatory written for 
the occasion by Miss Maggie Barnes, a friend and parishioner of Father 
Paul's at Osage Mission : 

" Full fifty stars that light the flood of time ; 
Full fifty hymns that rise in strains sublime 
Out of the happy past ; full fifty isles 
All steeped in beauty's glow, and bathed in smiles 
From kindly heaven ; full fifty angels fair, 
Crowned with soft lilies and sweet violets rare, 
These are the symbols of thy rosary 
Of years— the types of things that gild thy jubilee." 

In the name of the deanery of Parsons, the Very Reverend E. Bononcini 
offered the following ode, written by Rev. T. A. Butler, of St. Louis : 

"Life was fresh, like flow'rs awakening, 

In thy bright Italian clime; 
Fair as dawn of morning breaking 

Seem'd the light of coming time; 
Earth and sea and skies above you 

Caught the rosy-tinted glow; 
Kindred whispered, ' Paul, we love you, ' 

More than fifty years ago. 

" But the Lord of all has spoken 

Sweeter words than human tongue; 
Ties of kindred must be broken — 

Heav'n is pleased with hearts so young. 
Paul is call'd, and soon we find him 

Where Ignatius' soldiers grow — 
Ah! he left the world behind him 

Fully fifty years ago. 

"Left the palace, left the college, 
Left the saci'ed shrines of Rome. 
Full of faith and zeal and knowledge, 
Sent to seek a prairie home; 



Reverend Father Paul M. Ponziglione. 31 

Sent across the rolling ocean, 

Out where Kansas' rivers flow — 
Ah! how strong that priest's devotion, 

Nearly fifty years ago. 

" Few the homes in days departed — 

Prairie homes when Paul was young — 
Then the Indian, lion-hearted, 

On the plains his blanket flung. 
Few the farmers on the prairies; 

Indians wandered to and fro, 
By St. Francis, by St. Marys, 

Fifty, forty years ago. 

"On the plains the father greets them, 

In their wigwams preacheth peace; 
Smiles with joy where'er he meets them, 

Causes fiery feuds to cease; 
Bends the proud to own a master. 

Leads where heavenly graces flow, 
At the feet of Christ, the pastor, 

Happy forty years ago. 

"Fair thou seemest, Osage Mission, 

Born again to brighter days; 
Standing now in strong position, 

Tell through time thy soldier's praise; 
But forget not through the ages, 

While Neosho's waters flow, 
Paul, apostle of Osages, 

More than forty years ago." 

In the spring of 1889, there was much trouble with the Crow tribe on 
their reservation in Montana. It was thought that Father Paul might be 
able to do more with them than any one else. So he was asked to go there 
and use his influence as a peacemaker, which he did with marked results. 
But his leaving the home mission cast a deep sadness over southern Kansas 
and the Indian Territory ; for, owing to his advanced age, every one felt the 
improbability of his ever returning to Kansas. 

Father Ponziglione left Montana to become historian of St. Ignatius 's Col- 
lege, in Chicago, in 1891. It is remarkable that throughout his life as an 
Indian missionary he always maintained his high degree of scholarship, and 
to the day of his death was considered one of the finest Latin scholars in the 
Jesuit society. He was an able writer of both prose and poetry in Latin 
composition. 

In connection with his work at St. Ignatius's College, he was assistant 
pastor at the Jesuit church. He heard confessions, visited the sick, and it 
is said that in the singing of high mass his rich tenor voice rang out clear 
and strong as in the days of his youth, though now an octogenarian. 

But his great sympathetic soul always turned to the weak and helpless. 
Added to his other work in Chicago, he became chaplain of St. Joseph's 
Home for Deaf Mutes, and organized two sodalities among them, one for 
young men and the other for young women. He prepared sermons, psalms 
and prayers for them in the sign language. Outside of his own parish, he 
also did active work in the Visitation and Aid Society, and for nearly ten 
years he preached the Gospel to the inmates of the Bridewell, in Chicago. 



32 Kansas State Historical Society. 

On the 25th of March, A. D. 1898, Father Paul celebrated, in the city of 
Chicago, the fiftieth anniversary of his priesthood. It was a notable occa- 
sion for a notable man. A Jesuit priest's religious and educational training 
is so long and thorough that but few ever live to have a golden jubilee. 
The wonderful character of Father Ponziglione as count, priest, Indian mis- 
sionary, historian and writer made the event extremely interesting, and it 
became one of national church importance. 

Just two years later— two more full years of unceasing service for Christ 
and humanity— and the venerable father passed peacefully on to the higher 
realizations of spiritual truth. After a short sickness with bronchial pneu- 
monia. Father Ponziglione died, at St. Ignatius's College, in Chicago, on 
Wednesday night, March 28, 1900, a little past his eighty-second year. 

No great and good man belongs exclusively to any particular religious, 
social or political organization. Influences for good must extend to all hu- 
manity, and the noble character of Father Paul stands like "the shadow of 
a great rock in a weary land," offering peace and comfort to the heavy- 
laden and distressed. Whilst always he was a most ardent Roman Catholic, 
his soul was too great to be circumscribed, and he was the father, friend and 
priest to every one who knew him. This was Christlike— this was Pon- 
ziglione. 

In considering the character of a state or nation, we are apt to look at 
the purely social and political, and to lose sight of the moral and religious 
factors. Who can estimate a strong man's influence for good? Who can 
measure the worth of Father Ponziglione in the formative period of this 
state ? In one of his last letters to a friend he wrote : 

"If, during a period of forty-nine years, the Osages, as a nation, did not 
take up arms against the United States government; if they did not make a 
wholesale slaughter of trains and caravans while crossing the plains; if they 
did not ransack the country along the border of both Missouri and Kansas; 
if, in a word, they did not turn hostile to the white people, this is due, in a 
great part, to the influence of the Catholic church, exerted over them 
through her missionaries." 

While true in general of the church, it should be more particularly ap- 
plied to Father Ponziglione himself; for his wonderful personality and 
Christlike character predominated at all . times, in all places, and over all 
people, for the universal and perpetual betterment of social and political 
conditions. 

His character so thoroughly impressed upon the thousands of students 
educated at St. Francis' College and St. Ann's Academy, in Osage Mission, 
stands also as an imperishable monument to his greatness. 

So endeth this life's work of Father Paul M. Ponziglione, the last repre- 
sentative of the noble houses of Guerra and Ponziglione, who left friends, 
wealth and nobility in Italy to become an humble Jesuit priest and mission- 
ary among the western American Indians, and whose life was so pure, 
whose human sympathy was so great, that to know him was to feel the im- 
pulse of his righteousness. 

The influences of his unpretentious life, coming through quiet channels, 
are so pure and simple, so great and lasting, as to make the name of Pon- 
ziglione worthy to be inscribed forever upon the pages of Kansas history. 

"What is excellent, as God lives, is permanent." 



The Victory of the Plow. 33 



THE VICTORY OF THE PLOW. 

An address delivered by William D. Street ' before the Kansas State Historical Society, 
at its twenty-ninth annual meeting, December 6, 1904. 

LOOKING across the great Sappa valley one morning in the early autumn 
could be seen the beautiful squares of green alfalfa, the fields of golden- 
hued, ripening Indian corn, the hillsides covered with buffalo-grass, turning 
brown in the warmth of the fall sunshine. The leaves on the belt of timber 
that fringed the stream were taking on the varied hues of beauty, so admired 
by the artist and extolled by the poet, that come with the Indian summer. 
Lowing cattle were going to their pastures and the pigs in the alfalfa were 
calling loudly for their morning rations. What a beautiful pastoral picture! 
Turning toward the rising sun could be seen nestled in a cove in the valley the 
beautiful and enterprising little city of Oberlin, the county-seat of Decatur 
county, with her church spires, public schools, high school, banks, stores, 
mill, creameries, railroad depot, and all that goes to make up a commercial 
emporium. 

What splendid pictures of civilization these scenes made! My thoughts 
traveled across the past thirty years to the time when the plow had not 
turned a furrow in the county, and called up the fact that last year— 1903— the 
yield of wheat for the county was 2,032,200 bushels, worth $1,097,388, tell- 
ing a wonderful story of the victory of the plow. 

Back to the early days and early settlers; what privations, what suffer- 
ing, what sorrows, those old-timers endured in their contest against wild 
men. wild beasts, unfavorable social, financial and climatic conditions; what 
fortitude, what heroism in every degree, those people displayed to win the 
victory of the plow ! The story cannot be written. The eye-witness and, 
in many instances, an actor in the great drama cannot write it as it should 
be written. The story cannot be told as it should be told. The soldier suf- 
fers alone, while his deeds of valor are told in picture and story; but with 
the men who conquered the prairies came the women and little children, who 
suffered privations and dangers as heroically as the strongest men. What 
a victory they have won! Yet their praise has not been sung in song or 
told in prose. No monuments have been reared to tell of their glory; no 
eulogies have been pronounced for them; no niche in the temple of fame 
has been reserved for those who won the victory of the plow ! 

Less than a half-century ago not a mile of railroad was in operation in 
Kansas, while the white settlements were confined to the country adjacent 
to the turbulent Missouri and the eastern border; nearly half the state was 

Note 1. — William D. Street was born near Zanesville, Ohio, in the year 1851. He moved 
from Ohio to Kansas in 1861, and became identified with northwestern Kansas in 1869, being; a 
pioneer in that section. He was educated in the common schools of Kansas. He served as a sol- 
dier in company I, Nineteenth Kansas volunteers, and also in company D, Second battalion, 
Kansas state militia, in 1869, in a campaign against the Indians. He was a member of the legis- 
latures of 1883, 1889, 1895, and 1897. In this last session he was elected speaker of the house. 
From 1893 to 1896 he served as a regent of the State Agricultural College. He is a prominent 
farmer in Decatur county, and has a large portion of his farm under irrigation. He has experi- 
mented with irrigation since 1889. He was a Republican until 1890, when he joined the People's 
Party. At the People's Party congressional convention, at Colby, in 1896, he was a candidate for 
Congress and came within four votes of a nomination. He is married and has five children. 

-3 



34 Kansas State Historical Society. 

unknown territory. What wonders have been wrought in less than the 
allotted span of life! The writer has seen the plow fight the battle and win 
the victory from the eastern border to the Colorado line. 

In 1869 Waterville, the terminus of the Central Branch Union Pacific 
railroad, 100 miles west of Atchison, and one-fourth of the distance across 
the state, was the western end of railroad communication for these far- 
western settlements. Lake Sibley, a semicircular body of water, left on 
the north side of the Republican river when that stream, at some time ante- 
dating the earliest knowledge of the country, had cut across the bend and 
straightened its course by several miles, and named probably in honor of 
General Sibley, was the outpost of civilization. The post-office and town 
which bore the name have disappeared from the later maps. It was located 
almost north of Concordia, and at one time ambitiously aspired to become 
the county-seat of Cloud county. Westward a few miles, a fringe of set- 
tlers, more venturesome than others, had pressed out past the danger line. 
Beyond, the world was asleep, awakened only by the whoop of the Indian 
warrior, the tread of the mighty herds of buffalo, or a shot from the rifle 
of an occasional hunter who penetrated the solitude. This was the north- 
western Kansas frontier at that time. The prairies and valleys further on 
were unknown to the white man, and the plow of the husbandman had not 
turned a furrow in all this vast region—an empire within itself. Of the de- 
velopment of this section the writer desires more particularly to speak. 
Not that there were no adventures and battles with the Indians and conten- 
tion with wild animals. Of these we would rather talk ; but the story of 
the plow on the northwestern frontier has never been told, while the story 
of the sword is everywhere. Every hill and vale in Kansas has been the 
scene of bloody conflict, and their history has been written. 

In 1867 the writer crossed what was then called the plains, with an ox 
team, from Fort Leavenworth to Fort Dodge, via Fort Harker. Everywhere 
along the western end of the trail the new-made graves told of the daring 
or cunning of the Indian warrior. In the winter of 1868-'69 I was with 
Custer in the famous winter campaign against the redskins in the Indian 
Territory and Texas; in the state militia on the northwestern border in the 
summer^of 1869; in 1870 captain of a company of home guards who built 
Fort Jewell, on the present town site of Jewell City; and I assisted in plant- 
ing the'first settlements in the country beyond. For nearly five years there 
was scarcely a moment when the writer did not have his trusty six-shooter 
within reaching distance, strapped to him by day, at his hand by night, ex- 
cept when on a few brief visits to civilization. This partially tells of the 
expectancy in those days, and, as the remark went, "one would not be sur- 
prised to wake up and find himself dead and scalped." But enough of this; 
it is of the other struggle I want to tell. 

The trappers and the hunters were the first to penetrate the unsettled 
parts in search of game and fur-bearing animals. They were the outposts 
and advance-guards of civilization. When the first settlers came straggling 
in the Indian and buffalo had been pressed further west, but neither had 
entirely abandoned the struggle for the famous hunting-grounds and rich 
pastures. As the white-topped wagon of the immigrant with the tongue 
pointing ever westward became more numerous, the Indian tepees were 
moved away and the buffalo trails were overgrown with grass. 



The Victory of the Plow. ^ o-| A(\*^f^ 



The invading settlers sought out their claims, and then drove to Junction 
City, away to the southeast 75 or 100 miles, to the United States land- 
office— then presided over by our present secretary, who was register of 
the same— there to make entry on the land selected. After securing this 
initial title to their claims they commenced in earnest the struggle against 
the elements and climatic conditions. Ignorant of the adaptability of the 
country, the struggle was doubly severe ; so severe, indeed, that many brave 
men abandoned their claims, and at times it looked as if the victory of the 
plow was lost. 

Men in many instances broke the prairie sod with their guns strapped to 
the plow, opening the land to cultivation that became the nucleus of a 
splendid farm later ; several worked together, for better security of person 
and property. At times, when danger was imminent, one would act as 
sentinel while the others worked. They plowed in fear, planted in hope, 
reaped in sorrow. What a change comes over the scene ! - There are the 
echoes of civilization ; the distant rumble of the wagon, the lowing of the 
herds, break the stillness of the centuries. Little log cabins or sod houses 
dot the prairies everywhere ; little squares of earth turned upward by the 
plow, like squares on the checker-board, change the landscape from the liv- 
ing green of the luxuriant grasses, or the golden brown of the buffalo-grass, 
to the dull black of the rich prairie soil. The plow has come unheralded ; 
no trumpets sound the charge ; no bands with inspiring music cheer the plow- 
man on his weary but hopeful march ; no banners wave aloft to mark the 
lines of battle ; but the battle is on ; the plow, though silently, is surely mov- 
ing to victory, with a wilderness to conquer. ' No one can tell what it means 
to be a pioneer except him ' ' who has been through the mill. ' ' 

Railroad facilities were far away— 75 to 100 miles for a box of matches 
or a plug of tobacco. A journey to the nearest station in winter meant dan- 
ger and suffering. Streams without bridges, fords deep and treacherous, 
wagons stuck, loads to be carried out by the teamsters through icy waters 
that chilled to the marrow, and left for years the aches and pains of rheuma- 

NOTE 2.— The wheat alone produced in the fourteen counties in the northern two tiers of ' 
counties west of and including Jewell, for the year 1903, was 20,872,373 bushels, worth $13,587,042.45. 

Note 3.— The following figures for the year 1905, from the report of F. D. Coburn, secretary 
of the State Board of Agriculture, show the gain made by the plow amid all the discourage- 
ments so graphically set forth by the writer : 



Counties. 


Popula- 
tion, 
1905. 


School 
popula- 
tion, 
1905. 


Assessed 

valuation, 

1905. 


Crop and 

live-stock 

values, 

1905. 




2,844 

9,349 

6,410 

17,382 

12,671 

10,655 

12,237 

14,162 

5,042 

9,482 

4,540 

3,576 

15.567 

4,506 


987 
3,559 
2,619 
6,071 
4.444 
4,017 
4,215 
5,126 
2,214 
3,218 
1,689 
1,184 
5.351 
1,720 


$777,787 
2,217,219 
1,727,545 
4,308,148 
3,790.460 
2,517,292 
3,060,656 
3,000.189 
1,486,283 
2,404,989 
1,324,815 
1,288,018 
3,489,259 
1,876,813 


$1,671,714 05 
4.982,130 92 
2,936,744 24 
9,075,119 05 
5,934.739 88 
5,031,384 53 
5,788.169 94 
6,713,744 18 
2,736,649 53 
3,964,929 56 
2,576,072 11 
1,504,822 02 
7,414,377 59 
2,651,618 69 








Mitchell 


Norton 




Phillips 


Rawlins 




Sheridan 




Smith 






Totals 


128,423 


46,414 


$33,269,473 


$62,982,216 29 



36 Kansas State Historical Society. 

tism, sleeping in the drifting snow, far from any friendly cabin, were but 
few of the many dangers that beset the freighters on the dreary, long roads 
to the railroad stations. 

At times the blizzard's frosty breath swept across the prairies, carrying 
in its wake death and destruction fearful to contemplate. It came unher- 
alded and without premonition. A dark gray cloud like an icy wave would 
spread across the plains, and the snow would be swept into immense drifts. 
Woe betide the traveler who lost his way! In a country without well-trav- 
eled roads and fenced farms all landmarks were soon obliterated, and it is a 
wonder more people were not lost. In those early days cattle were known 
to freeze to death standing in their tracks in the great drifts, and would be 
left standing when the snow melted away in the spring, mute reminders of 
the terrific storms that had swept the plains with arctic fury during the 
winter. Now ample shelters are provided. The loss of stock is reduced to 
the minimum; no loss of human life has been reported for years. 

The blizzard, under the mollifying influence of the plow, of late years 
has lost much of its severity; the snows do not have such wide sweeps; 
well-defined roads and many fenced farms are guides against becoming lost. 

Generally speaking, only robust people came to the frontier. Their good 
health stood them well, and, becoming inured to the hardships, their strength 
carried them through many difficulties and dangers where the weak would 
have succumbed. 

A want of capital was another serious drawback to many of the early 
settlers. Men without means, save their own strong arms, rushed out onto 
the border where there was but little employment, and no money even to 
pay for that. Many of this class soon found themselves in straitened 
circumstances, with no means with which to develop their lands and make 
them productive. With crop failures came discouragement. Excellent 
claims were abandoned or sold for a song. With the homesteader came the 
land-shark and the money-loaner. The latter, while supplying to a limited 
extent the capital necessary to hasten the work of building up a new country, 
proved in many instances more of a detriment than a benefit, as they 
exacted such usurious rates of interest on the money they loaned for them- 
selves or as agents of Eastern capitalists as to make repayment of principal 
almost an impossibility. It was not unusual for the rates charged to be 
from two to ten per cent, per month on notes renewed every sixty or ninety 
days; charges for writing and recording the chattel mortgages, or a com- 
mission charged for securing the money, frequently made an annual inter- 
est charge of from 24 to 120 per cent, per annum. Many worthy men 
fell under this load. The chattel mortgages took everything they had ex- 
cept wife and babies. Instances were frequent where every horse, cow, 
hog and chicken on the place was mortgaged, and at these enormous rates 
of interest the chances were greatly against the borrower. Many a man 
who under more favorable conditions would have pulled through held his 
land and made a good home succumbed to the inevitable fate. A few 
struggled through. As the time for perfecting title to the land rolled around 
the money-loaner was on hand, and in a majority of cases a mortgage was 
plastered onto the newly acquired real estate. Sometimes it was to build 
better houses or make improvements; in other cases, to buy cattle on invest- 
ment; and the struggle "to make ends meet" and pay the interest every 



The Victory of the Plow. 37 

six months began. Some parties mortgaged their land for every dollar they 
could get, and considering it well sold bid farewell to the homestead, never 
paying a nickel of interest or principal; so that the "cutthroat game " was 
not entirely a one-sided affair after all. 

Droughts of a disastrous nature were of frequent occurrence. The aid of 
friends and even of the state was invoked on several occasions to enable the 
pioneer settlers to maintain their homes. The state legislature, on three or 
more occasions, made appropriations to buy seed and feed to enable the west- 
ern settler to plant another crop.^ This was money well spent, and many 
of those who received the donations or loans are now among the most thrifty 
farmers of the northwest. As the land has been brought under civilization 
droughts are less frequent, not attributed so much to the greater precipita- 
tion as to the influence of the plow. The surface soil, in its natural state, 
sheds like a roof, but when stirred up and roughened by the plow it retains 
more of the moisture, eventually to give it back to the growing crops. 

Grasshoppers swooped down and ate up every green thing on the claim, 
leaving nothing but the mortgage. The settler, becoming discouraged, 
abandoned the place, went "back to his wife's folks to winter," in many 
instances never to return again. 

Bad men, of which so much is said in the novels and sensational stories, 
were not very numerous on the northwestern frontier. Save for a few 
horse thieves, who occasionally raided some poor settler's stable or pasture, 
taking the best and perhaps the only team he had, very little trouble was 
experienced from desperadoes. A few, it is true, made trouble in some lo- 
calities, but their reign of terror was of short duration. The report of a 
double-barreled shotgun, or a rope with a man dangling at the noose end, 
told the tale. 

Note 4.— The following sums were appropriated at times specified for seed grain : 

The legislature of 1869, the sum of $15,000. Laws of 1869, chapter 134, page 262. John K. 
Wright, of Junction City, agent. 

In 1871, $6000. Laws of 1871, chapter 127, page 290. Joseph Logan, agent. 

In 1872. an appropriation of S3000 was made for general relief. Laws of 1872, chapter 47, 
page 76. 

August 28, 1874, Gov. Thomas A. Osborn issued a call for a special session of the legis- : 
lature, to meet September 15, 1874, because the "western and newly settled portion of the state 
has been invaded by an army of grasshoppers," that "the state has no power to afford the 
necessary relief in the absence of legislation," and that " the first duty of the state is a fostering 
care and protection for all her citizens." The special session met, and, in addition to a few gen- 
eral acts, passed two of a relief nature. One authorized counties to issue " special relief bonds " 
in a " sum not exceeding one- half of one per cent, on the assessed valuation," and the other pro- 
vided for the issuance of $73,000 of state bonds. The amount realized on these state bonds was 
to be used in purchasing bonds of each county to a certain extent, after the people had voted 
such indebtedness. This fund was apportioned among certain counties in western Kansas. 
The counties covered by this paper were allowed sums as follows : Decatur, $1000 ; Jewell, $4000 ; 
Mitchell, $3000 ; Norton, $5000 : Osborne, $5000 ; Phillips, $5000 ; Rooks, $3000. This put the bur- 
den upon the county itself. The state central relief committee, Hon. Elias S. Stover, chairman, 
distributed in Decatur 2 packages : Graham, 178 packages; Jewell, 21 car-loads and 2062 pack- 
ages ; Mitchell, 8 car-loads and 1238 packages : Norton, 3';; car-loads and 828 packages ; Osborne, 
4' - car-loads and 1780 packages : Phillips, 5^ j car-loads and 558 packages ; Rooks, 526 packages ; 
Smith, 21 car-loads and 870 packages. Laws of Kansas, 1875, pages 255, 257; report of Kansas 
central relief committee. 1875, pages 5, 6, 7. 

The legislature of 1881 appropriated $25,000 for general relief Laws of 1881, chapter 130, 
page 249. 

In 1891, $60,000. Laws of 1891, chapter 129, page 218. The State Board of Railroad Commis- 
sioners disbursed it. 

In 1895 $100,000 was appropriated. Laws of 1895, chapter 242, page 394. 

The appropriation of 1891 required the county to issue warrants payable to the state on or 
before February 1, 1892, and the county took each applicant's obligation for cost of grain fur- 
nished him, payable on or before January 1, 1892, with interest at six per cent, per annum after 
maturity. The law of 1895 required the county to issue warrants payable on or before February 
1, 1896, and the county took each applicant's obligation, payable on or before November 1, 1895, 
with interest at six per cent, per annum after maturity. According to the books of the state 
auditor, the loan created by the acts of 1891 and 1895, $160,000 in all, has been returned to the state 
treasury, excepting a balance of $2334.19. 



38 Kansas State Historical Society. 

The pioneers brought with them a desire for education and the hope of 
religion. Schoolhouses of rude pattern, built of logs or sod, sprang up 
everywhere. They were used for the dual purpose of education during the 
week and devotional exercises on Sunday. The log and sod schoolhouses 
have given place to new and modern houses of education, and nearly every 
county-seat has a county high school and graded schools of high character.'' 
Many churches of commodious size and excellent design take the place of 
the former houses of worship. The building of the schoolhouse in any 
neighborhood was an event of more than passing interest. They were 
frequently built before a regular organized district was set apart and be- 
fore any taxes were levied for schools or for school buildings. 

In such cases work would be donated by some and funds by others. On 
occasions persons were asked to contribute enough to buy a joint of stove- 
pipe or a board from which to manufacture a seat. The building of the sod 
schoolhouse was an event from which occurrences were reckoned, as hap- 
pening before the schoolhouse was built or after. The site being decided 
upon, the neighborhood gathered with horses, plows, and wagons. A piece 
of virgin prairie sod would be selected, the sod-breaking plow would be 
started ; the sharp share would cut the grass roots and slice out a long piece 
of the sod from two to four inches in thickness, by twelve to fourteen inches 
in width. After the sod had been turned and the place where the edifice 
of learning was to be reared had been cleaned of the buffalo-grass down 
to the bare soil, men with sharp spades would cut the long furrows of 
sod into convenient lengths to be handled. These bricks of sod would then 
be loaded into wagons and taken to the building site, the foundation 
laid, the door frames set in at once, and as the work progressed and 
the walls had reached the height of a foot or such a matter, the window 
frames were set in and the building continued to the required height. 
Great care would be taken to break joints with the sods and also to put in 
binders, soft mud or fine soil. The latter was used more frequently to stop 
up every crevice or vacuum in the walls until they would be almost air- 
tight. Then the roof, sometimes of lumber, but more frequently of dirt, 
would be put on. To put on a dirt roof, a large log, the length of the build- 
ing, was selected, or two, if one long enough could not be secured from the 
native timber sparsely scattered along the streams. This log would be put 
on lengthwise— a ridge log, it was termed. Shorter and smaller poles were 
then cut and laid from the sides of the walls to the ridge log. Over these 

Note 5.— In the fourteen counties previously named, according to the report of I. L. DayhoflF, 
superintendent of public instruction, we find the following statement of schoolhouses and their 
value : 

No. school Value school 

buildings. property. 

Cheyenne county 67 $4,000 

Decatur county 103 73,400 

Graham county 86 37,000 

Jewell county 165 110,000 

Mitchell county 116 158.175 

Norton county 117 85,470 

Osborne county 124 99,850 

Phillips county 129 57,200 

Rawlins county 89 54,550 

Rooks county Ill 70,000 

Sheridan county 74 46,100 

Sherman county 59 21,541 

Smith county 142 93,420 

Thomas county 85 52,000 

Totals 1,467 $962,706 



The Victoi-y of the Plow. 39 

•would be placed small willow brush; then sod would be carefully laid over 
the willows; later to receive a layer of fine dirt carefully smoothed over the 
entire roof, which completed the job. The floor, usually of dirt, was 
sprinkled with water to lay the dust, and as this process was continued the 
dirt floor became hard-packed and easily kept in order. 

It is not too far-fetched to say, before parting with the "little, old sod 
schoolhouse on the prairie, ' ' that great men will rise up whose rudimentary 
education was secured in one of those humble places of learning— congress- 
men, governors and even a president may have studied there. The insig- 
nificant mound that now marks the place where the sod schoolhouse crumbled 
to earth may be pointed out as the place where some great scientist or 
other person, who has been of inestimable benefit to humanity, learned to 
read. 

Turning from the schoolhouse, as the fields grew more extensive and the 
herds more numerous, the attention of the railroad builders was attracted 
to this locality, and ere long great lines of steel stretched out across the 
prairies, the whistle of the engines awakening the country to new life, and 
thrilling the merchant and husbandman with new hope and energy at the 
thought of having railroad communication at their doors. While, at times, 
freight rates were undoubtedly exorbitant and unreasonable, and the lines 
required to produce too great revenues on account of the overstocking and 
mortgaging of their property, they greatly advanced the progress of the 
country; and the work that was done within a year or two would have taken 
many years to accomplish without the advent of the railroad. The railroads 
really belong, with the exception of the Union Pacific, to a later date, as the 
pioneers had "blazed the trail" and fought their way to assured success 
before the railroads were built. 

One of the causes of so many failures and so much trouble and suffering 
was the fact that the country in the northwest was settled with such an 
onrush of immigration as was never before known. From the Missouri river 
westward to the eastern border of Jewell county, the march of the white 
settler had been very slow and deliberate. The probable average advance 
of the isotherombrose line had not been to exceed six or eight miles per 
annum. This gradual advance had been such that the outposts were removed 
but a few miles from the productive wheat- and corn-fields and the potato 
patches. 

The plow was slowly but surely subduing the wild lands, and the reserve 
forces of partial crops at least aided in steadying the line of immigration in 
its Western march. But in 1870 an oni-ush such as eclipsed all former immi- 
gration in the history of the state or any other country commenced, and by 
the end of the year 1873 Jewell, Smith, Phillips, Norton, Decatur, and the 
corresponding counties southward— 150 miles of new country— had been set- 
tled. Within a year or two more the rush had reached the Colorado line; 225 
miles of virgin prairie to be subdued and brought into cultivation. The plow 
was everywhere, but the task was too great; the line wavered, and then at 
times it appeared that the battle was lost. Droughts and disappointments, 
as described before, caused the tongues of the white-topped wagons to be 
turned toward the rising sun, ever moving eastward. The claims were 
abandoned, the plow was, literally speaking, left standing in the furrow. The 
abandonment of the country became a maddening flight, a complete rout. 



40 Kansas State Historical Society. 

The homesteader was vanquished; the country was a desolate ruin for miles 
and miles. Not a farmer was left, and the few settlers who remained 
engaged in the stock business, continually singing the song "This is not a 
farming country, it is only good for cattle." The plow was forgotten, and 
the young men who were left aped the style of the cowboy of bygone days. 
Then one day the tide turned slowly; very slowly the people began to come 
back to Kansas; the settlers increased, agriculture was taken up anew, and 
the plow was started again. As the land was brought into cultivation more 
and more, the country became fruitful and promising. The rainfall was 
conserved in the loosened soil to fructify the efforts of the husbandman, and 
the wonderful crops of recent years tell of success for those who have 
suffered and endured the privations on the border. 

But all was not unmixed trials and pain, for there were many joys and 
pleasures in frontier life. To go twenty miles on horseback or in a rough- 
riding farm wagon to a neighborhood dance, to dance all night to the 
monotonous sawing of some squeaky old fiddle, and, just as the stars faded 
from the sky, to go home with the girls in the morning, was a popular 
amusement. Then there were "spellin' schools," that attracted people for 
miles and miles— such distances as were unthought of as the population be- 
came more dense. There was, besides, the literary society, of which the 
debate on some popular or obsolete question was an important feature, with 
declamations, essays, songs, etc., making up a program to interest the settler 
and pass an evening in meeting the neighbors. 

It was a joy to meet your neighbor in friendly exchange of news. No 
rural route delivery daily brought you the latest paper from the commercial 
center— the news not much more than twelve hours old; the telephone 
wires were not stretched in every direction then. You could not step up to 
the box and ring your next neighbor and ask him if he had seen a stray 
cow, or inquire about some acquaintance who was sick a dozen miles away, 
to hear his cheerful voice saying he was all right. The news was carried 
by a slow process of a weekly mail (sometimes should be spelled weakly), 
carried on horseback; there were also mail routes styled the "triweekly 
lines"— came out one week and tried to get back the next. No wonder 
all were given the "glad hand," and when they met on the trail tarried to 
gossip by the hour. Around the camp-fires and within the humble but hos- 
pitable homes those who were returning from down East were plied with 
questions about the latest events in the settlements. 

When there were but few settlers scattered along the streams, before 
the great rush, one of the pleasures of the pioneers was to join together for 
a buffalo hunt. Several men with teams and hunting outfits would set out 
in the early fall for the buffalo range, not many days' travel distant, to se- 
cure their winter's supply of meat. They seldom failed to return with an 
abundant supply, that greatly improved their bill of fare. Then there were 
antelope, jack-rabbits, wild turkey, and occasionally an elk or deer, to sand- 
wich in, to make up, for the greater part of the year, a splended variety of 
meats. One method of curing the meat for summer use was by salting and 
drying thin slices in the sun, slightly smoking to prevent the flies from spoil- 
ing it. This was called "jerked" meat, was very hard and dry, and would 
keep indefinitely. It could be eaten in that state, or sliced and cooked by 
various methods. 



The Victory of the Plow. 41 

Every community contained some adventuresome persons, usually the 
young men without families, who, when the green began to fade from the 
leaves and autumn frosts caused the grass to turn brown, gazed longingly 
toward the country of the wild. Several of them would make up a party, 
gather their steel traps, examine their rifles, and, with a winter's supply of 
provisions and feed, start for some favorite trapping-grounds. They were 
the trappers of the frontier. Along the streams were found the haunts of 
the beaver and otter, the coon and wildcat ; on the prairie adjacent were 
the wolves — the big gray or buffalo wolf and the little, sneaking coyote. 
The pelts of all these animals commanded a price. The more expert the 
trapper, the better his returns from the winter's expedition. They would 
make their camp in some grove along the stream; either pitch a tent or 
build a shanty partly of logs and the rest dug out of the bank for their win- 
ter quarters. Next they would string out their traps for several miles along 
the stream to catch the beaver and the otter, and scatter poisonous bait out 
on the hills for the wolves. Then began their exciting, busy days, skinning 
and caring for the furs and peltries, chasing the wild game. Their meals 
were not always regular, but always hearty, consisting of such delicious 
morsels as beaver-tail soup (the trapper's dish par excellence), roast wild 
turkey, roasted, boiled or fried venison, antelope or bufl'alo meat. These 
were dishes beyond the dream of an epicure. Half a buffalo's ribs, spitted 
before the bright embers of the camp fire, roasted to a turn, rich and juicy, 
ready to serve at any moment, when the hungry trapper should return, 
would frequently be seen. Thus the winter would pass, the trapper ever 
on the alert for the prowling Indian marauders, who would quickly rob them 
of their catch, together with all their camp supplies. If success crowned 
their efforts, when the first green grass appeared along the valleys the 
trappers would wend their way homeward with several hundred dollars' worth 
of furs to their credit, ready to take up, indifferently, the work of agricul- 
ture, always longing for the autumn and the haunts of the wild animals. 

The trapping-grounds are no more; the trapper, too, has passed away or 
grown old and gray. When the fall of the year comes to those who are 
left, their eyes grow bright, they catch the spirit of the season; there is a 
longing for the land of the buffalo, the beaver, the otter. They look back 
to the days of long ago as the freest, happiest of their eventful lives, and 
they tell of them with delightful remembrance. 

The cowboy who stood the brunt of the battle, and acted as a buffer be- 
tween civilization and barbarism, was here in all his pristine glory. They, 
as a class, have been much abused. But few toughs were to be found 
among the genuine cowboys of the northwest. They were generally a gen- 
teel set of men, in many instances well educated, always generous, some 
possessing excellent business quahfications. There was, however, a class 
who hung out at the shipping points, who did not belong to the cowboys, 
but lived off of them. They generally created most of the disturbances, 
shot up the towns, did the fighting and killing. This class were the gam- 
blers and saloon-keepers; most of them, it is true, " came up the trail, " and 
when they went broke turned to the range to raise a stake as cowboys. 
This disreputable class caused the rows, and the cowboy was given the 
credit (or discredit) for the trouble, when in reality he usually had little or 
no part in the disturbance. 



42 Kmisas State Historical Society. 

Several years without law, for the outposts were pushed ahead of legis- 
lation; settlers outran the lawmakers and were beyond the influences and 
restraint of law. Being in unattached territory, the laws of the state did 
not apply, and no one had authority to put the machinery of the law in 
operation. They had outran even the tax gatherer— not anarchists, but 
every man was a law unto himself. Later, the western unorganized terri- 
tory was attached to the organized county east for judicial purposes. " The 
latch-string hung out at every cabin and ranch door. All men were welcome 
to enter the door and eat, whether the owner was at home or absent. It 
was the custom of the country that no one passed the door hungry. Pay 
was never expected and seldom offered. Property was perfectly safe. A 
wagon-load of provisions or any other property could be left standing by the 
roadside for days without fear of loss. The house could be left indefinitely, 
and nothing disturbed except such provisions as the passer might need for 
his immediate wants. The plunderer was not tolerated. If a man was 
known to be a thief, he either left the country or died. Swift and certain 
justice was meted out to all who violated the rights or property of his neigh- 
bor. With the laws came the lawless and disturbing elements that require 
the police power of the state to keep in restraint." 

Towns by the hundred— paper towns principally— sprang up everywhere. 
Each was expected to become a metropolis, the county-seat, or a great rail- 
road center. The promoters were mostly doomed to disappointment, for 
their dreams of affluence vanished into thin air and their town sites turned 
into corn-fields. 

The immensity of the buffalo herds in this region was beyond computa- 
tion. The writer had seen them on the Arkansas river in the freighting 
days, in the great Southwest, in southwest Kansas, Indian Territory, the 
Panhandle of Texas, and the Llano Estacado. One day, south of the Arkan- 
sas, between Wichita and Camp Supply, they were so numerous that they 
crowded the marching columns of the Nineteenth Kansas so dangerously 
close that companies were detailed to wheel out in front and fire volleys into 
the charging masses. But it was not until I came to the northwestern fron- 
tier that I beheld the main herd. One night in June, 1869, company D, 
Second battalion, Kansas state militia, then out on a scouting expedition to 
protect the frontier settlements, camped on Buffalo creek, where Jewell 

Note 6.— Jewell and Mitchell counties were organized in 1870; Osborne in 1871 ; Norton, 
Phillips, Rooks and Smith in 1872 ; Decatur, Graham and Sheridan in 1880 ; Rawlins in 1881 ; 
Thomas in 1885 ; and Cheyenne and Sherman in 1886. 

Note 7.— In the department of archives are the following letters, received from the adju- 
tant general's office : 

Salina. May 20, 1874. 

Capt. C. A. Morris, Adjutant General State of Karnfas: Sir — Upon receipt of instructions 
under date of the 4th inst., I proceeded to Stockton, in Rooks county, and thence to the more ex- 
posed counties of Norton, Decatur, and Graham. I made a thorough investigation concerning 
the reported "threatened Indian hostilities," and now submit the following report: 

The population of Rooks and Norton has been so greatly increased this spring that in my 
opinion the people of these counties have nothing to fear from Indians. Decatur and Graham 
counties are much less thickly populated; hence the people there are uneasy and restive lest ma- 
rauding bands may repeat the bloody scenes that were enacted upon the North Fork of the Solo- 
mon some year or two since. A majority of the people in Graham have recently gone there from 
Rooks and Norton for the purpose of grazing cattle. They are almost entirely unarmed, which 
fact, in view of the scarcity of buffalo, offers a strong incentive to molestation from Indians who 
are making their way from western Nebraska to southwestern Kansas. If a limited number of 
state arms were furnished to the militia company commanded by Capt. L. C. Smith, of Rooks 
county. I am convinced that they would be available in case of any emergency arising either in 
Graham or Decatur counties. 

Incidentally, I would beg to refer to the many bold depredations that are constantly being 
committed in the extreme northwestern counties by a band of horse thieves, whose organization 
seems to be perfect and to extend beyond the state. The county in question is peculiarly adapted 



The Victory of the Ploiv. 43 

City is now located. All night long the guards reported hearing the roar of 
the buffalo herd, and in the stillness of the bright morning it sounded more 
like distant thunder than anything else it could be compared with. It was 
the tramping of the mighty herd and the moaning of the bulls. Just west 
of Jewell City is a high point of bluff that projects south of the main range 
of hills between Buffalo and Brown creeks, now known, we believe, as Scar- 
borough's Peak. When the camp was broken, the scouts were sent in ad- 
vance to reconnoiter from the point of bluff, to ascertain, if possible, whether 
the column was in the proximity of any prowling Indians. They advanced 
with great care, scanning the country far and near. After a time they 
signaled the command to advance by way of the bluff, and awaited our ap- 
proach. When we reached the top of the bluff what a bewildering scene 
awaited our anxious gaze. 

To the northwest, toward the head of the Limestone, for about twelve or 
fifteen miles, west across that valley to Oak creek, about the same distance, 
away to the southwest to the forks of the Solomon, past where Cawker 
City now is located, about twenty-five miles south to the Solomon river, and 
southeast toward where Beloit is now situated, say fifteen or twenty miles, 
and away across the Solomon river as far as the field-glasses would carry the 
vision, toward the Blue Hills, there was a moving, black mass of buffalo, 
all traveling slowly to the northwest at a rate of about one or two miles an 
hour. The northeast side of the line was about one mile from us; all other 
sides, beginning and ending, were undefined. They were moving deliberately 
and undisturbed, which told us that no Indians were in the vicinity. We 
marched down and into them. A few shots were fired. The herd opened as 
we passed through and closed up behind us, while those to the windward ran 
away. That night we camped behind a sheltered bend and bluff of one of 
the branches of the Limestone. The advance had killed several fine animals, 
which were dressed and loaded into the wagons for our meat rations. All 
night the buffalo were passing, with a continual roar; guards were doubled 
and every precaution taken to prevent them from running over the camp. 

for the operations of this class of vandals, who are a constant terror to the people. Many of the 
horse thieves have their homes upon the tributaries of the Solomon and are virell known, but the 
people dare not attempt their arrest, for fear that their own lives will be imperiled and their 
homes burned. 

Thus far any attempt to apprehend these desperadoes has resulted in shedding of blood and 
the repulse of the officer of the law. Very respectfully, E. W. Ayres. 

Norton, September 20, 1878. 

Hon. Geo. T. Anthony. Topeka, Kan. : Dear Sir — Your letter of the 12th duly received 
and contents noted. In reply would say, J. Conarty presented your order to Mr. Green for state 
arms, and he refuses to turn them over. He says he has nothing to do with them. They have 
been removed to the house of Jim Campbell, and he will not give them up, because the order 
runs to Green instead of him. It is merely a subterfuge to keep the arms until after the exami- 
nation of Gandy and Cummins. Last Tuesday the stacks of a harmless old man were burned 
and his house fired into. Two weeks ago O. M. Dannevik had over 900 bushels of wheat burned 
in stack by ( as we suppose) our incipient " Molly McGuires." A Mr. Lumbavd, who is now at- 
tending a teachers' institute at this place, has just told me as a friend that I shall be killed before 
the district court sits, for I have been too busy hunting out cases against the law. They may 
kill me, governor, like they did Mr. Landis, but they cannot scare me. It is a terrible state of 
affairs, and unless something be done towards helping us to break up the nest not one of us who 
have been anyways instrumental in trying to bring the murderers of John Landis to justice are 
safe. If you can send someone in to help get evidence who is not known I do wish you would do 
so. It will help the officers of justice and put confidence in the law-abiding citizens of this 
place. If you do anything with a detective it will have to be done privately. 

Hoping to hear from you soon, I remain your obedient servant, 

Thos. Beaumont, County Attorney. 

We heartily indorse the request of Mr. Beaumont, and believe it is highly necessary to grant 
the same and break up the gang of outlaws who are infesting our county. 

M. J. FiTZPATRiCK, County Clerk. 

John Conarty, Sheriff. 

Nat L. Baker, Register of Deeds. 



44 Kansas State Historical Society. 

The next morning we turned our course, marching north toward White 
Rock creek, and about noon passed out of the herd. Looking back from the 
high bluffs we gazed long at that black mass still moving northwest. 

Many times has the question come to my mind, How many buffaloes 
were in that herd ? And the answer, no one could tell. The herd was not 
less than twenty miles in width— we never saw the other side— at least 
sixty miles in length, may be much longer ; two counties of buffaloes ! 
There might have been 100,000, or 1,000,000, or 100,000,000. I don't know. 
In the cowboy days in western Kansas we saw 7000 head of cattle in one 
round-up. After gazing at them a few moments our thoughts turned to 
that buffalo herd. For a comparison, imagine a large pail of water ; take 
from it or add to it a drop, and there you have it. Seven thousand head of 
cattle was not a drop in the bucket as compared with that herd of buffalo. 
Seeing them, a person would have said there would be plenty of buffalo a 
hundred years to come, or even longer. Just think, that ten years later 
there was scarcely a buffalo on the continent. That vast herd and the many 
other herds had been exterminated by the ruthless slaughter of the hide- 
hunters, who left the meat to rot on the plains as food for the coyotes and 
carrion crows, taking only the hides, which were hauled away in wagons to 
the Union Pacific railroad, and shipped in train-loads East. 

In a few years the bleaching bones were gathered up by the bone-pickers, 
stacked in great ricks at the railroad stations, and later shipped East, to be- 
come a fertilizer for worn-out Eastern farms. Sold for a price of six to ten 
dollars per ton, bone-picking enabled many a homesteader to buy the provi- 
sions to take his family through the winter and until he could raise another 
crop. The hides sold from $1 to $4 each, with a probable average of $2.75. 
The robe hides, those killed late in the fall and early winter, being best, 
brought better prices— sometimes as high as five dollars each. Small for- 
tunes were made by the hide-buyers and traders who furnished the supplies 
for the hunters. Usually the hunters had little to show for their labor, 
privations, and dangers. We have no word to say against the killers ; we 
were one of them. The government should have passed laws to protect and 
restrict the killing of buffalo. The danger of extermination was not 
realized until too late ; or, as the Indians would say in lamentation and 
sorrow, " Buffalo all gone. " 

The Indian gave way to the trapper and hunter, those nomads of the 
plains, they to the cowboy, and he to the plow-holder, until now all the 
world watches the crop reports from Kansas. If the ticker announces that 
Kansas has gone dry, or the wheat has Hessian fly, up goes the price ; while 
if the word goes out that Kansas is to have a bumper big crop, down goes 
the market. So the influence of the plow on the northwest border is now 
felt around the world. The army of destruction may overrun for a time, 
but after all the army of production comes to the front again and again, 
and, with the plow as the weapon, conquers all at last. 

Now we catch the gleam of a better and higher civilization ; a new light 
is dawning. From these people, tried by hardships and privations, like the 
Pilgrims of old, will come a race of heroes who will revolutionize conditions 
and build better than those gone before ; not heroes on bloody fields— but 
with the plow will march to greater and grander victories in the production 
of those things needed by humanity. Thus will come the complete victory 
of the plow. 



Samuel A. Kingman. 45 



SAMUEL A. KINGMAN. 

An address delivered by Joseph G. Waters before the Kansas State Historical Society, 
at its twenty-ninth annual meeting, December 6, 1904. 

Before what judge and what assize 

Shall this ynan make his plea ; 
When at the bar, what his replies. 

And what the court's decree ? 
With lifted face and modest eyes. 

No room for doubt or strife. 
He mute shall stand and point where lies 

The story of his life. 

THE real justification of a good and useful life is that death does not end 
it. The sufficient apology for a conscience is that it is the signal bell 
that sounds our course through the fog and shoal and night here that we 
may safely head our way over the unknown seas. The one noble and high 
purpose of death is a subsequent existence. The reasonable plea for all the 
love that mankind has ever had or known is for a continued being. If there 
is no existence beyond this, then life, love, hope, faith and conscience are 
the only purposeless things in all the infinite variety of use in the created 
universe. Without it there would be no fundamental law of good or bad ; 
the felon would be as worthy as the Christian, and hate as well as love 
would have the right to control human conduct. The world's philosophy 
would be at an end and hope become a useless burden-bearer. The love of a 
mother for her child, which, with the human race, stands within the shadow 
of a divine attribute, that love which flies into the very face of death, that 
love which imagines, through the long years of stilled pulses, that it feels the 
soft patter of a velvet hand upon the cheek, would be a satanic mockery of 
this highest human emotion and a travesty of all conceptions of a Creator. 

The hope possesses the race that death is but a darkened vale in an on- 
ward pilgrimage, a bend in the road, or like the course of a ship we have 
seen leave harbor and pass, hull down and out of sight, hid by the breasting 
billows. It is a hope that no science has discomfited, that no dumbness of 
death has blanched. This hope becomes a part of human existence. It 
breeds sympathy, it commands friendships, it compels the humanities, and it 
blooms the dreariest Saharas of life with love's unfading flowers. It makes 
men plant trees for another's shade, and to live for the benefit of others, 
when "Hfeand thought have gone away side by side. " That death is to 
end all is a chimera that has in memory an inveterate foe, that love pillo- 
ries, and which stands accursed in the human soul. If the sweetness of be- 
lieving that somewhere the benign eyes of our dead still bend their gaze 
upon us were to be destroyed, if all the love the heart overflows to them is 
unknown to them, if all the prayers for their repose are rebufl'ed by their 
muffled ears, it is an infinite calamity piled on the insult of life. 

We may be oppressed by doubts; the world has always had its doubts. 
They people palaces and haunt hovels. The eye opens and closes on one. 
Doubt is, however, in the order and character of proof. Expectancy and 
desire at best are half doubt. Judge McFarland^ once said that "doubt 

Note 1.— Noah C. McFarland was born in Washington count>'. Pennsylvania. April 2. 
1822. He attended school and college at Washington, Pa., and was a classmate of James G. 



46 Kansas State Historical Society. 

becomes a necessity." A doubt clings to every hope and hugs it as the 
shadow does its familiar. A doubt resembles the magnetic needle, with its 
ceaseless tremble, yet forever pointing the polar star fixed and unmoving 
in the outlying depths of space. It is the common hope of us all that prompts 
this speech, and dare I believe that when Judge Kingman died his good 
soul and loving heart disappeared in the hushed waters of oblivion over 
which is hung the rayless night of eternity, I could not provoke my lips to 
utter that which is in my heart to say. 

Once he delivered an address to the memory of his good friend, G. G. 
Gage,- late of this city, and aptly quoted these lines, and none are apter for 
himself: 

' ' Who that surveys this span of earth we press. 
This speck of life in time's vast wilderness. 
Would sully the bright spot to leave it bare. 
When he might build him a proud temple there. 
And leave a name to hallow all its space 
And be each purer soul's high resting-place." 

It has never been my pleasure to take part in the transactions of this 
Society. It has been my lot to participate in many casual affairs, with their 
apparent burden, seeming importance, and passion of the time, yet nigh all 
of which have passed into the vortex of forgotten ephemera, dying with the 
doing, giving hardly a paragraph to the use of history. 

In speaking of him I would like to be my better self— an ideal not closely 
pursued by me nor highly attained. I would much desire to say the thought 
within me, so that when this utterance shall take its place in the print of 
your proceedings it might be read with profit in all the after-years, and 
that, whenever the book was opened at the page, it might bring a glow of 
satisfaction to my vanished and forgotten face. 

I have high occasion to sweeten the lives of those who are left behind. I 
find supreme opportunity to point to an honorable and useful life in sharp 
contrast to the Mammon of these days that endeavors to sink such lives 
out of sight and example. 

He was born in Worthington, Mass., June 26, 1818. His parents, Isaiah 
and Lucy Kingman, lived to a green old age. Judge Kingman was educated 
in the common schools of his native town and at the more pretentious 

Blaine. Before he was twenty-one years old he stumped his county in the interest of Henry Clay 
for president. He studied law, and engaged in active practice at Hamilton, Ohio, from 1850 to 
1869. While in Ohio he was appointed by Governor Todd as "chairman of the Butler county war 
committee," in which capacity he labored for the best interests of the Union cause. In 1865 he 
was elected to the Ohio state senate, and was made chairman of the senate judiciary committee. 
He was chairman of the Ohio delegation to the Republican national convention at Chicago, in 
1868, which nominated Grant for president. He removed to Kansas in 1870, settling in Topeka. 
In 1873 and 1874 he represented Shawnee county in the state senate. In 1879 he was appointed 
a member of the Ute Indian commission to ratify a treaty between that tribe and the United 
States. In 1881 he was made commissioner of the United States land-office, at Washington, and 
reappointed by President Arthur. He wrote the prohibitory amendment which is now a part of 
the constitution of Kansas. He was twice married — to Sarah Milliken, of Washington county, 
Pennsylvania, and in 1864, to Annie J. Anthony, of Springfield, Ohio, who died in Topeka May 5, 
1896. He died in Topeka April 26, 1897. 

Note 2. — Guilford G. Gage was born in Sheffield, Ashtabula county, Ohio, October 17, 
1834. He was raised on his father's farm and his education was obtained in the schools of that 
county. He came West and settled in Topeka May 8, 1856, making this his future home. He 
worked in a brick-kiln after coming here, and two years later was engaged in the same business 
on his own account. He invested in much Topeka and Shawnee county real estate, and built 
many houses, and left an estate valued in the neighborhood of $200,000. He gave the city of 
Topeka an eighty-acre park adjoining the city. He was a member of the Second Kansas regi- 
ment in the civil war, and took part in the battle of the Blue. He had erected in Topeka ceme- 
tery a $10,000 monument to the Kansas soldiers participating in that fight, which was unveiled 
in 1896. He was married in 1867 to Miss Louisa Ives, of Alleghany county. New York. He was 
stricken with paralysis, and died in Topeka May 19, 1899. 



Samuel A. Kingman. 47 

Mountain Academy there; he began teaching in his seventeenth year, and 
when nineteen went to Kentucky, where he taught school and studied law. 
He began practicing at Carrollton, Ky. ; then changed location to Smith- 
land, Livingston county. He held the offices of county clerk and district at- 
torney, and for three years was member of the legislature from that county. 

He assisted in forming a new constitution for Kentucky. In the spring 
of 1856, with his family, he went to Knoxville, Marion county, Iowa, and in 
the spring of 1857 met his destiny face to face, and came to Kansas. He 
spent the first six months at Leavenworth and then went upon a claim in 
BroviTi county, near where Horton now stands. In the summer of 1858 he 
moved to Hiawatha and commenced to practice law again. ^ He was elected 
delegate from Brown county to the Wyandotte constitutional convention, 
which convened July 5, 1859, and on the organization of the state was elected 
associate justice of the supreme court. In 1864 he was nominated for asso- 
ciate justice on the Union Republican ticket, which was headed by Solon 0. 
Thacher for governor, and was defeated by Jacob Safford on the Republi- 
can ticket, headed by Samuel J. Crawford for governor. In 1865 he moved 
to Atchison and went into partnership with John James Ingalls in the prac- 
tice of the law. In 1866 he became a candidate for chief justice of the 
supreme court, was elected, and reelected in 1872, which office he resigned 
in 1876 on account of ill health. He was afterwards appointed state libra- 
rian; this office he held for a short time, and was compelled to quit for the 
same reason. He was temporary chairman of the constitutional convention, 
as well as chairman of the judiciary committee and a member of the com- 
mittees on ordinance, public debt, and phraseology and arrangement of 
that body. He was the first president of the State Historical Society^ and 
a director of it from then on; he has been president of the State Judges' As- 
sociation and the State Bar Association. He was the president of the Ana- 
nias Club to the time of his death. He has lived with his family in Topeka 
since 1872. He had been a Whig, and, like most Whigs, he naturally gravi- 
tated to the Republican party. 

His name has frequently been suggested for United States senator, 
and at one time he somewhat expected the appointment of United States 
judge. Just four days before his death the city papers announced that he 
and his wife intended to celebrate their sixtieth wedding anniversary. He 
was married on October 29, 1844, to Matilda Willets, daughter of Samuel 
and Susan Hartman, of Terre Haute, Ind. His venerable spouse survives 
him, and also two daughters, Mrs. Lillian Butterfield and Miss Lucy D. 
Kingman. 

On the death of Judge Kingman, the Topeka Federation of Women's 
Clubs issued a memorial in his honor, as a mark of respect to his daughter, 
Miss Lucy, who is a member of that body. I have received several letters 
concerning him, and I hope they will be printed along with this. They are 

Note 3.— Judge Kingman was one of the three commissioners provided for by the legisla- 
ture of 1859 for the adjustment and payment of territorial claims. This commission reported to 
the Wyandotte constitutional convention, and a summary of their report was published in its 
proceedings, pages 293-318. The other commissioners were Edward Hoogland, appointed by the 
governor ; Henry J. Adams, elected by the council ; and Judge Kingman, by the house, on 
February 11, 1859. 

Note 4. — Judge Kingman was twice before first president of historical organizations : In 
February, 1860, of the Scientific and Historical Society of Kansas, organized at Lawrence, and of 
the Kansas Historical Society, at Topeka, in March, 1867. Kansas Newspaper World, January, 
1895, p. 31. 



48 Kansas State Historical Society. 

from great judges, prominent lawyers, and neighbors; and each one of them 
has sprinkled its salt through the lines of this address. 

It is a proper preface to this address to say that up to the time of the 
passage of the organic act of Kansas and Nebraska slavery was a national 
evil. The slave trade had been abolished, but the constitution of the United 
States, as interpreted by the supreme court in the Dred Scott case, made 
slavery national by protecting it to such an extent that it was beyond the 
reach of human law to abolish, destroy or impair it as an institution. Upon 
the organization of Kansas into a territory, a new doctrine, devised by 
Senator Douglas in his political extremity, was injected into that act. The 
decision in that case declared, in substance, that the slave owner with his 
slaves had the same right and protection under the federal constitution in 
the territories that the Northerner had with his mules. Douglas proposed 
to avoid the effect of that decision by placing in the "belly of the Kansas- 
Nebraska bill," as was said at that time, the provision that it was not the 
object or purpose to vote slavery up or down in the territory, but to leave 
the people perfectly free to form their domestic institutions in their own 
way, subject only to the constitution of the United States. 

This was popular sovereignty. It was the virtual repeal of the Missouri 
compromise, an act passed in 1821, which declared that slavery should not 
go north of the line of 36^ 30'. Kansas became the struggle ; blood was 
spilled and lives lost. It brought to the front many a sturdy hero in patched 
breeches, leaky shoes and coarse raiment whose descendants will 100 years 
from now be proud to claim as the origin of their blood. The Kansas pio- 
neer was a strenuous man, a fighting man, battling for an end. If out of a 
settlement of convicts and ticket-of-leave men Cape Town and Botany Bay 
became such colonial dependencies as South Africa and Australia, what should 
this brave pioneer strain of blood do for Kansas; free men, fighting and 
dying for free homes, free speech, and free men? Under that act the an- 
tagonistic forces met. Four constitutions were voted on— the Lecompton 
constitution twice. As the ultimate of all such struggles shall finally be, 
freedom and liberty won. The Missourian was against the inexorable. The 
Bible, the spelling-book and Sharp's rifle were trained soldiers fighting the 
guerrillas of slavery, illiteracy, and the whisky jug. 

A free state became possible. A constitutional convention was called to 
meet at Wyandotte on July 5, 1859. It passed a free-state constitution, 
which was ratified by the people. That instrument was the death-warrant 
of slavery. It legitimatized and incorporated the great underground rail- 
road, and adopted the north star into the purposes and destiny of the state. 
I can understand the origin of our state motto. Defeated, exasperated and 
blinded by its frenzy, the South spurned Judge Douglas and set its own can- 
didates in the field for the presidency, and fired the Southern heart for seces- 
sion. Mr. Lincoln was elected, and the long foretold disruption came, that 
ended, after an unparalleled war, great havoc, and immense loss, with slavery 
banished forever from the face of the civilized globe. 

It is of that Wyandotte convention that I desire to speak. In the de- 
liberations of that body Judge Kingman was by far the foremost mind. The 
work he did there shows the trained jurist. He gave to it his best ponder. 
He came prepared for the task ; even-tempered, far-seeing, with no sinister 
designs to accomplish and no great ambitions to glut. He was its genius. 



Samuel A. Kingman. 49 

It has been something of an object in the occasional addresses I have made 
in this state to speak in the highest terms of our constitution and laws. I 
would in some way like pleasantly to anger and enrage our teachers and 
citizens generally, until they would give them the persistent study that so- 
ciety clubs devote to the renaissance, ancient art, or Barneveldt. 

I believe that they represent the highest plateau reached in the world's 
civilization, ancient or modern. We have put good, rich blood into the com- 
mon law or killed it outright. We have placed woman on a pedestal and 
intelligence in the show window. The constitution was not motley or patch- 
work. It w^as consistent and harmonious. It had been studied out and 
licked into shape before the convention met. The convention was only 
twenty-four days in session. Were one to be called now it would take six 
months or a year. The common schools were provided for, which will grow 
in importance for all time. The bill of rights is all that a people want for 
their protection. Whether Judge Kingman and his fellows shall ever have 
set over them some tall shaft or column it is useless to conjecture, so long 
as a vestige of the constitution shall remain to ennoble and perpetuate their 
names. He was the one man of that convention that we hold responsible 
for its many magnificent provisions. The homestead exemption and the 
clause exempting $200 from taxation of heads of familie's are his especial 
handiwork. Other states had homestead exemptions, but they were meager, 
begrudging, and unsatisfactory. Some had limited them to $500, and the high- 
est did not exceed $3000, and beyond that the creditor could take. One state 
gave the husband the right to relinquish it. 

Our constitution gives 160 acres of land outside a town or city or one acre 
within such limits as a homestead. It can only be taken for unpaid purchase- 
money or for unpaid improvements made by its owner. It cannot be alienated 
except by the joint consent of the husband and wife. It makes no difference 
in whose name the title stands, the husband or wife, or both, or turn about, 
one year him and then one year her. It is inconsequential how valuable may 
be its acres, its buildings, or betterments. It inures to the use and enjoy- 
ment of the family. If the wife keeps her pen from the paper it is sacred 
to her and her brood. The husband can never take it for alimony. The 
eyes of the creditor need never be turned toward it— he cannot take it. It 
was the first step in the emancipation of the wife in her vassalage to her 
husband; she emerged from his shadow and cast one of her own. Following 
this provision, and as its necessary trend, the laws of Kansas for the first 
time in any state or nation declared her to be the heir of her husband, equal 
before the law in descents and distributions of property. Before that, her 
portion was a dower-right in his estate, an indefinable, intangible next-to- 
nothing, only valuable as illustrating the wife's poverty and dependence 
under the common law. It was expected that the homestead exemption 
would be a cover for the man's property to escape his creditors, but the 
many serious days since then of catastrophe, calamity or caterpillar have 
proven otherwise. 

This was the noblest and proudest work of that convention. It recog- 
nized the family as the first thing to be cared for— the unit of all the varied 
things that go to constitute a state. Poverty may put out the fires on the 
hearth, but, unbidden, an army cannot kindle its embers. It draws the sa- 
cred circle of the law around the grandmother's rocker and the patriarch's 
-4 



50 Kansas State Historical Society. 

seat by the chimney-jamb. Its gates open only to friends. It must be the 
footfall of friend that is heard coming up the graveled path. Its threshold 
may be only worn by the feet we love. Its latch lifts only on approach of 
neighbor. Out of its curtained windows can be seen the deft fingers of 
spring weaving the tufted floors of vernal green that seem to the weary 
feet the velvets of paradise; they look out upon the waving corn, the 
changing fields, the great harvesters afield, the autumn's ripened stores, 
the huge stacks, the sleek herds, and when winter descends with its snows 
upon the roof, its blasts against the pane, there are comfort and happiness 
within. And when the great prairies turn into the abyss of night, its 
lamps gem and star the darkness and become to the belated traveler hos- 
pitality, cheer, slumber, and blessing. By the fiat of the constitution, the 
woodbine, Virginia creeper, honeysuckle, the rose climber, and morning- 
glory, when planted by the mittened hand of the wife, her dark hair and 
darker eyes hidden in the depths of a sunbonnet, remembered for sixty 
years, are vouched an inviolate and perpetual license to clamber and ramble 
at will over the lintels, under the eaves and around pillar, porch and chim- 
ney of all the homes of Kansas. The hollyhocks, marigolds, sweet peas, 
nasturtiums, violets, pinks, and prairie queens, planted in boyhood, there 
become the immortal amaranths of old age. There is no such word as 
"homeless" in the lexicon of Kansas. For all time the home is the one 
sure port behind the harbor bar, where the lights gleam, where the gales 
cease, and surge and billow are stayed ; a state of homes, of roof-trees, of 
family shrines, where children, touched with the incense of home's altar 
fires, grow and broaden into a mightier race under the sun. We are too 
near to see its value. Things without perspective have little meaning. It 
requires comparison to develop proportion. Had we the ingrained knowl- 
edge of peasant life, of the human tribes and shambles, of crowded lands, 
of the houseless and homeless hewers of wood and drawers of water the 
wide world over, we would the more fully value a secure home; a home- 
stead fortressed by the constitution, buttressed by law, and garrisoned by 
bright-eyed children. The homestead is Judge Kingman's monument. 

Sol. Miller, 5 a veteran editor of Kansas, a philosopher, statesman, and 
poet, has panegyrized the homes of Kansas in a few sweet verses. He died 

Note 5.— Sol. Miller, the editor of the Chief, published by him at White Cloud, Doniphan 
county, from 1857 to 1872, and at Troy from 1872 to the day of his death, April 17. 1897, came to 
Kansas from Germantown, Ohio, in. the spring of 1857. He was born at Lafayette, Ind.. Janu- 
ary 22, 1831, his parents being- John and Dicey Miller, whose people appear to have been natives 
of Tennessee and the Carolinas. The family moved to Twin, Preble county, Ohio, soon after his 
birth, and he was raised in that town, securing his education in the common school. His father 
was a carpenter, and Sol. assisted him in this work, which he never liked, desiring to become a 
printer. January 28, 1848, he became indentured for board and clothes in the Gazette office at 
Germantown, Ohio, for a term of four years. At the close of his apprenticeship he purchased a 
half-interest in the Gazette, giving his note and a bill of sale on the office in payment. The 
paper supported Winfield Scott for president. During his experience as editor he became in- 
terested in the church at Germantown, and taught a class of seven boys. He was married May 
17, 1854, to Miss Mary Kaucher, of Germantown. 

The first number of the Chief is dated June 4, 1857, though he says he printed and circulated 
a bundle of papers among the crowd gathered at the sales of the Iowa trust lands, at Iowa Point, 
June 1. Although a slave boy was hired to run off the first number of the paper, Mr. Miller was 
a free-state man, and afterwards a staunch Republican. He was a member of the Kansas house 
of representatives in 1862, and elected to three terms in the state senate, serving in 18fi6, 1871, 
1872, 1885. 1886, and 1887. He was a member of the State Board of Public Works in 1891 : was 
grand master of the Grand Lodge of Odd Fellows of Kansas, 1871-'72, and was one of the five 
Kansas editors who organized the Kansas State Historical Society, in December, 1875. Noble L. 
Prentis speaks of him as " the best-known of Kansas editors," and "as good a printer as ever 
walked the sod." Two of his poems were thought of sufficient merit to be included in Professor 
Carruth's little volume of Kansas literature: "The Homes of Kansas," and "The Model Old 
Couple," the latter said to have been a tribute to his parents. 



Samuel A. Kingman. 51 

a few years ago. How the summers haste and the autumns scurry ! But 
he haunts the prairies of Kansas yet with the music of his undying strain : 

" The cabin homes of Kansas ! 

How modestly they stood 
Along the sunny hillsides 

Or nestled in the wood. 
They sheltered men and women, 

Brave-hearted pioneers ; 
Each one became a landmark 

Of freedom's trial years. 

' ' The sod-house homes of Kansas ! 

Though built of Mother Earth, 
Within their walls so humble 

Are souls of sterling worth. 
Though poverty and struggle 

May be the builder's lot, 
The sod house is a castle. 

Where failures enter not. 

' ' The dugout homes of Kansas ! 

The lowliest of all, 
They hold the homestead title 

As firm as marble hall. 
Those dwellers in the caverns. 

Beneath the storms and snows, 
Shall make the desert places 

To blossom as the rose. 

' ' The splendid homes of Kansas ! 

How proudly now they stand, 
Amid the fields and orchards. 

All o'er the smiling land. 
They rose up where the cabins 

Once marked the virgin soil. 
And are the fitting emblems 

Of patient years of toil. 

' ' God bless the homes of Kansas ! 

From poorest to the best. 
The cabin of the border, 

The sod house of the West. 
The dugout low and lonely. 

The mansion grand and great: 
The hands that laid the hearthstone 

Have built a mighty state." 

And if I now pay my own special tribute to this song, it is because of my 
own personal regard for the man and his measure : 

How sweet the song that ages long 

Compels the world to linger. 
Halts trade and train to move again 

The lips of this dead singer ! 

There is no sweeter word with which to link the name of Judge King- 
man to remembrance than "home." And I cannot conclude what I have 
to say upon the homestead provision without adding this : On Kansas Day 
at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, an oration was delivered by a distin- 
guished citizen of this state, of national reputation, a great lawyer, and as 
eloquent as great, which became a classic as soon as he uttered it." There 

Note 6. — David Overmyer. of Topeka. Mr. Overmyer was born in Pickaway county, 
Ohio, May 1, 1847. In 1849 his parents moved to Indiana. He was educated at Asbury Univer- 



52 Kansas State Historical Society. 

is no earthly use to send to Massachusetts for material for our school read- 
ers. Here is a part of what he said : 

"This provision, at once wise, just, and humane, is the work, chiefly, of 
that Nestor of the early days of the state, the late Chief Justice Samuel A. 
Kingman. On the 9th day of the present month, at his home in Topeka, in his 
eighty-seventh year, he passed from a pure, serene and tranquil life into the 
mysterious silence. It is said that Solon instructed kings ; and so it can be 
truly said of Judge Kingman, that he instructed men who are greater than 
kings —the builders of a sovereign state. The noble career, the stainless life 
and the blessed memory of this rare man should teach us what abiding conso- 
lation lies in duty well performed ; that all must serve each other according 
to his estate and station, and that virtue is truly its own reward. Kingman 
and his compatriots aimed only at justice and mercy. They did not foresee 
that in time the homestead exemption might become a measure of saving 
policy for states and nations. 

"We are told in ancient fable that Anteus was invincible while he 
remained in contact with his Mother Earth, and so nations are invincible as 
long as they rest firmly on the sustaining earth. No nation ever flourished 
where agriculture languished, and no nation ever languished where agri- 
culture flourished. Cities bring opulence and culture. They lure the rustic 
youth from his father's fields with their dazzling splendors and their prodig- 
ious power. They expand the mind, sharpen the faculties and arouse the 
ambitions of men. They attract hordes of weak and defective beings, and 
generate hordes of perverts, who bask in the sensual excitements and float 
in the oceans of ooze which flow fathomless in all the great cities. Vast 
heaps of human compost send forth their poisonous exhalations year by 
year, detoning and degrading more and more the life of a city." 

The other exemption of the constitution excluded $200 belonging to the 
head of a family from taxation. This was the work of Judge Kingman. In 
that convention there were no rich men— a man could not watch a Missourian 
and make money at the same time. This exemption was a protection to the 
poor. In the forty-five years we have been a state, $500,000,000 of prop- 
erty have escaped taxation by reason of that exemption. 

These special exemptions will remain forever. The people will never 
consent to any amendment of them. A new constitution has been talked, 
but the fear of the people that these provisions might be impaired has pre- 
vented a serious consideration of another convention for that purpose. They 
are the birthright and heirloom of all future Kansas that still lies below the 
horizon. On July 25, 1884, the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Wyandotte 
constitution was held at Wyandotte, on which occasion Judge Kingman de- 
livered an address that has not been preserved. It was the only anniversary. 
The survivors of this convention are : E. G. Ross, afterwards a senator, who 
undeservedly met the ill will of Kansas by voting against the impeachment 
of President Johnson, is still living, in New Mexico; Judge John T. Burris, 
honored and respected, is still living at Olathe, and B. F. Simpson, who has 
honored and been honored by Kansas, is living at Paola; R. C. Foster, who 
is now living somewhere in Texas; S. D. Houston, now living at Salina, and 
who is also honored and esteemed; and C. B. McClellan, whom I have known 
for thirty years, after a successful mercantile career commenced and ended 
at Oskaloosa, is now enjoying the shade of his trees, the smell of his roses, 
the enjoyment of family and neighbors, beloved, honored and respected by 

sity, and admitted to the bar in 1869. In February, 1883, he moved to Kansas, locating at Topeka. 
In 1885, and the special session of 1886, he represented Topeka in the house of representa- 
tives. In 1888 he was Democratic candidate for Congrress in the Topeka district, and in 1894 the 
Democratic candidate for governor. He enjoys a great legal practice and is a prominent writer 
on political questions. 



I 



Samuel A. Kingman. 53 

the entire community. These are the only survivors of that convention. 
As long as the actors speak, history is silent. 

Judge Kingman was for thirteen and a half years on the supreme bench, 
over nine years of which he was chief justice. He is represented in the first 
seventeen reports. Great lawyers were in the habit of coming before his 
court ~ John Martin, Stinson, Gamble, McCahon, Brewer, Ingalls, A. L. 
Williams, Waggener, Shannon, Crozier, Foster, Glick, Ruggles, Plumb, 
Stillings, Fenlon, Wheat, Bertram, Burns, Usher, Simpson, Burris, Deven- 
ney, Otis, McClure, Humphrey, Peck, Thacher, Cobb, Webb, and others 
whose names on the least thought will readily be remembered. 

From the first decision this court began to set the plastic mortar into 
precedent that should be the hard whinstone of the law. It consisted of 
three members, and it was a very rare occasion for any one of them to dis- 
sent, and still rarer to write a dissenting opinion. Judge Clifi'ord's opinions 
while associate justice of the supreme court of the United States can be 
distinguished ten feet away by the peculiar way he paragraphed them. And 
Judge Kingman's opinions can be recognized that far off by their brevity 
and conciseness. He never wrestled with an adjective. He never plunged 
himself into the vortex of a philosophical disquisition just for the purpose 
of ascertaining who would be the master of the bout. 

The lawyer in practice to-day uses and encounters the use in others of 
' many apt, terse and sententious propositions of law which are constantly 
being asked and given as instructions, which are largely from his opinions. 
In his first opinion. The State v. Home (1 Kan.), there occur several of 
these paragraphs. He wrote 226 opinions. They are models. The last 
opinion he wrote, Yandle v. Kingsbury (17 Kan.), was a replevin case. 
The jury allowed the owner $500 for the use of a horse, mare and colt valued 
at $185 for sixteen months and seven days. Ten per cent, interest on the 
$185 would have amounted to less than $30 for that time. The court sus- 
tained the verdict, holding that the owner had the right to prove and recover 
the usable value of the property, and was not restricted to interest. Judge 
Brewer took occasion to write a dissenting opinion. He thought it an out- 
rage that the owner could recover three times the value of the property for 
the simple use of it for sixteen months, beside the property itself. That 
was the law then and now, and I have often wondered if that was the rea- 
son Judge Brewer left the state bench and went onto the federal one. 

Judge Kingman resigned the bench in 1876. He survived two chief 
justices who came after him. I can think of no more agreeable companion 
on or off the bench than he was. He was always a modest, tender, cour- 
teous gentleman. There was no sting in his decisions or conversation. He 
ran his conscience into his decisions. He had as full faith in human nature 
as Abraham Lincoln had; the lapse or fall of one did not shake his faith in 
the mass. 

In every relation of life he was a delightful man. He lived a simple, un- 
ostentatious life, loving his friends, and loved by them. When he died he 
was without an enemy, nor had he given cause for one. For a quarter of a 
century he waited the summons. He lived to a green old age, and died 
calmly, painlessly, serenely, "as flowers may close at set of sun." He 
was given high positions, and he gave back to the people his trusts hon- 
estly administered and stainless and pure, thank God ! His desires were 
few, his habits simple. The city and county of Kingman were named after 



54 Kansas State Historical Society. 

him, and the honor weighted his modest soul. As the president of this So- 
ciety, he gave it of his strength and goodness. He was a frequenter of the 
Ananias Club, where he habited to meet old cronies and lifelong friends 
down to the very last. A lover of good women, of little children, and young 
people. A heart big enough to house all mankind. A good and glorious 
thing to live life as he lived it. He loved the accustomed chair of his 
home; the pleasant, harmless tattle of neighbors; he loved his wife, his 
children, and grandchildren; no enemy ever supped at his table, nor any sin- 
ister thing ever opened the door to his heart. When he died we covered 
him with flowers. No crape on the door, nor grief nor tears, for in the ful- 
filled course of nature there are no tears. His friends and neighbors filled 
the rooms as the last services were held over that frail body on that lower- 
ing Sunday morning. The preacher read Whittier's "Eternal Goodness," 
wherein occurs this matchless verse of faith and hope: 

"I know not where His islands lift 
Their fronded palms in air, 
I only know I cannot drift 
Beyond His love and care." 

And then the preacher, God bless him, read "The Aged Man's Funeral," 
of William CuUen Bryant : 

"And I am glad that he has lived thus long. 
And glad that he has gone to his reward ; 
Nor can I deem that nature did him wrong, 

Softly to disengage the vital cord ; 
For when his hand grew palsied, and his eye 
Dark with the mists of age, it was his time to die." 

Usually Death approaches with felted feet. The call follows the blow, 
no warning, no premonition, no signal bell. It seems as if Death himself by 
Death's own suddenness may be taken unawares. How often does he make 
this address to his victim : 

Pull off your hat and shoes ; undress ; 
Turn over all that you possess— 
Your income, leases, fief of lands. 
The subtle thought, the cunning hands ; 
Renounce your splendid, matchless frame. 
Your loves, your memories and name, 
The throb of life, the buoyant breath. 
Command I may, for I am Death. 
The worm, an universal heir, 
Shall take its portion, lot, and share. 
Creep in your bed beneath the sod ; 
Leave hope and faith and all to God. 
He nothing heard of all I said ; 
His heart is still, the man is dead ! 

Death came to him as an expected guest. It entered his door with the 
welcome of a friend. Death kindly whispered the word ; the good-bys had 
been said over and over again the long years through, and arm in arm they 
went away. As the ripened and burnished apple falls in the latest autumn, 
so Judge Kingman died. 

To all the young gentlemen of Kansas, as they man the generations yet 
to come, here was a life for your edification and example. 



Samuel A. Kingman. 55 



JUDGE SAMUEL A. KINGMAN. 

An address before the State Bar Association, January 31, 1905, by HoWEL Jones, 
of Topeka, Kan. 

TT may safely be taken for granted that all lawyers of the older generation in Kansas knew 
Judge Kingman. He had an unique personality, and he lived and worked at the time of the be- 
ginnings, when the home, the church, the school and the law were slowly emerging from the soil 
of a region that only yesterday had passed from the dominion of the Indian and the buffalo. 

Judge Kingman died September 9, 1904, at the age of eighty-six years. His life had seen the 
passing of all the old and the coming of all the new. In his youth, in the Massachusetts town of 
Worthington, where he was born, the world had not yet heard of the telegraph, and all we have 
now— the strange things that are the indispensable conveniences of daily life— came to us after 
he had reached middle life. In his early manhood, and even after he began the practice of the 
law, men and women were still sold like cattle, while at the time of his death every man had long 
been free and at liberty to make of himself, for himself, whatever it was in him to be. 

Judge Kingman came of the sturdiest New England stock. His early education was such 
as is given in the New England district school, and all he knew, and it was much, he learned 
later, and by and for himself. Ill health was his constant companion during all his long life, and 
he was forbidden a full participation in the physical energies that always accompany growth 
and change. Yet growth and change were part of his environment wherever he was after he 
had left his native town. He took part in all, but it was, of necessity, the part of one who 
sees clearly and advises wisely, rather than of him who rides far and watches long, and wrings 
his sustenance from unwilling nature at first hands. It was ill health that took him from his 
birthplace, and at the age of nineteen, without health, money, or friends, he was at Carrollton, on 
the Ohio river, in Kentucky. He taught school to live, and while teaching studied law. Later 
he removed to a town named Smithland, in the same state, and there began the practice of the 
law. 

Some of his earliest experiences were in the field of politics, and for several terms he rep- 
resented his county in the Kentucky legislature. It was during this period that Kentucky 
adopted a new constitution, and thus he acquired some of the practical experience that fitted 
him for his work as a member of the body that framed the present constitution of Kansas, at 
Wyandotte, in 1859 — more than forty-five years ago. It was ill health that caused Judge King- 
man's removal from Kentucky and placed him where his life-work was actually to be done — here 
in Kansas. He arrived in this state, then a territory, in 1857, a date that few living men can 
now recall. It was a time when everything was yet to be done, and the situation was rendered 
still more complicated by a strife such as never had occurred before, and certainly can never oc- 
cur in the future ; and that seems almost incredible to the school child of our time as a part of 
the history of his native state. 

It was in 1859, about two years after Judge Kingman arrived, that he was sent as a dele- 
gate to the Wyandotte constitutional convention. There had been held three conventions for 
the same purpose — at Topeka in 1855, at Lecompton in 1857, at Leavenworth in 1858. These 
others had been held under the stress of what was in fact a mere modification of civil war, and 
when the minds of men were too excited and radically inclined to frame a fitting organic law 
for the Kansas that was to be. As time passed, and it became certain that the work was neces- 
sary, the people of the territory called still another convention, and sent to it as delegates a new 
type of men — men unhampered by the personal memories of the struggle whose echoes had 
died away, having in their minds, instead, a forecast of the future. They were for the greater 
part newer to the territory,' and their veins were full of the red wine of young manhood. There 
had, indeed, been extremes at other conventions. Slavery was excluded by all save one of the 
votes of the Wyandotte convention, though at the time of its writing no man dreamed of the 
great war that was so soon to come, and that, after years of struggle, was to result in the abol- 
ishment of slavery from every state. 

Judge Kingman was perhaps the genius of the Wyandotte convention. He brought to his 
work there the equipped and disciplined mind of the student and thinker. He knew the salient 
events of history and was familiar with the laws and constitutions of the English-speaking 
world. In this convention at Wyandotte he served on three important committees — judiciary, 
ordinance and public debt, and phraseology and arrangement. How well his work was done is 
shown by the instrument as it stands to-day. 

Note 7.— The following are the only ones who served in two constitutional conventions: 
James M. Arthur, in the Topeka and Wyandotte conventions : Caleb May, W. R. Griffith, Will- 
iam McCullough, John Ritchie, and James M. Winchell, in the Leavenworth and Wyandotte 
conventions. The Lecompton convention was not represented in the Wyandotte convention. 



56 Kansas State Historical Society. 

JudKe Kinpman had the rare gift of leading men while seeming merely to follow them. He 
was from Massachusetts and known to be opposed to slavery, yet he was elected a member of the 
legislature and county attorney in a slave state, and at a period when slavery was becoming more 
and more a burning question. This unusual gift was shown, as an instance, in the consideration 
of the petition to the constitutional convention of the citizens of Douglas and Shawnee counties 
protesting against the constitutional differences that were proposed to be established between 
the sexes. The petitioners desired to be heard by the entire convention, and, had they been, 
endless discussion would have resulted. A majority favored this general hearing, but Judge 
Kingman had the petitions referred to the committees on elective franchise and judiciary. The 
following, written by Kingman, is the unanimous report of the two committees : 

"The committee on the judiciary, to whom, in connection with the committee on elective 
franchise, was referred the petition of sundry citizens of Kansas ' protesting against any con- 
stitutional distinctions based on difference of sex,' have had the same under consideration, and 
beg leave to make the following report : Your committee concede the point in the petition upon 
which the right is claimed ' that the women of the state have, individually, an evident common 
interest with its men in the protection of life, liberty, property, and intelligent culture' ; and 
are not disposed to deny that sex ' involves them in greater and more complicated responsi- 
bilities.' But the committee are compelled to dissent from the conclusion of petitioners. They 
think the rights of women are safe in present hands— the proof that they are so is found in the 
growing disposition on the part of different legislatures to extend and protect the rights of prop- 
erty, and in the enlightened, progressive spirit of the age, which acts quietly but efficiently upon 
the legislatures of the day. Such rights as are natural are now enjoyed as fully by women as 
men. From such rights and duties as are merely political in their character they should be re- 
lieved, that they may have more time to attend to those 'greater and more complicated respon- 
sibilities ' which, petitioners claim, and your committee admit, devolve upon women. 

" The theological view of this question your committee will not consider. 

"All of which is respectfully submitted." 

His wonderful insight into the motives and impulses that control human nature was shown 
when the bill of rights was under consideration. 
The first section, as reported, was as follows : 

" Section 1. All men are by nature equally free and independent, and have certain inalien- 
able rights, among which are those of enjoying and defending their lives and liberties, acquiring, 
possessing and protecting property, and of seeking and obtaining happiness and safety ; and the 
right of all men to the control of their persons exists prior to law and is inalienable." 

The discussion on this section took wide range and nearly every member in the convention 
took part. When it had practically ended, Kingman arose and said : 

" Mr. President : I do not propose to argue this question. I would be willing to vote for 
the section as it stands, but I prefer the language of the substitute just offered. But I hold in 
my hand a section which I prefer to both of them. I do not propose at this time to offer it. But 
I hold that this use of the word ' inalienable ' is misunderstood and misinterpreted in this house. 
A man's right to his life is inalienable in law under all circumstances. He has no right to sell or 
give it away ; no right to dispose of it at all. But the word ' inalienable ' has a fixed meaning in 
law. And when in the common use of the word we say that a man cannot alienate his property, 
none would suppose we mean to-say he cannot forfeit his property. We intend, at the proper 
time, to propose in this constitution that there shall be a homestead set apart to each settler in 
the state, which shall be inalienable, but we do not propose to ordain that it shall not be forfeited 
for debts due to the state, and so on. I do not like to see this doctrine infringed. I do not like 
to depart from old, established usage. Therefore, I hope the section which I hold in my hand 
will be adopted. By the leave of the convention I will read it : 

" 'AH men are possessed of equal and inalienable natural rights, among which are life, lib- 
erty, and the pursuit of happiness.' 

"These terms, Mr. President, are fixed in the minds of the American people. They have be- 
come traditional, and I offer to strike out and insert this, that the American feeling may appear 
in this section. We all cling to old truths, and I love the very forms of e.xpression in which old 
truths have been presented. I dislike to change any old truth from the forms of language to 
which I have been accustomed. I dislike to see them taken from the habiliments in which I have 
so often seen them clothed and put into new and doubtful phraseology, and our national declara- 
tion of independence is of this class of truth. That declaration of rights forms a part of our po- 
litical creed, from which no man can extricate himself, and I do not wish to change the clothing 
of these ideas. It is this feeling that makes a man who had long read one book, as the Bible or 
Blackstone, value it a hundredfold above its intrinsic value. This makes a man like to read the 
sentiments he cherishes in their original style of expression — makes him like to dwell on the 
very words that cover the principles he holds closest to his heart. And we should express these 
sentiments in few words, sufficient to cover their views and carry their original force, and 
whatever goes beyond that is injurious to the sense. I say again, sir, I love these old forms. 
They are, it seems to me, as the political Bible of every citizen of the United States. If you change 
their language, you mar their beauties — carry the mind away from the .sense, and send it off into 
reflections on the phraseology and meaning of these new terms. I think the amendment I have 
read, in these old terms, is broad enough. It will show no man's prejudices, and it is broad 
enough for all to stand upon." 

This substitute, as you all know, is the first section of our present bill of rights. 

Matchless as was his great work in the judiciary, public debt, and phraseology and arrange- 
ment committees, before the convention adjourned his crowning glory became the shaping and 
passing of the homestead provision. At common law the home could not be sold, but the emble- 



Samuel A. Kingman. 57 

merits thereof could be seized, with the result of keeping the debtor always impoverished. 
Writers interested in humanity have deplored this condition, but Senator Benton, in 1828, as far 
as the writer hereof knows, was the first forcibly to picture that a tenant has no home, no 
hearth, no altar, and no household Kods. In 1836 the Texas revolutionists favored a homestead. 
No provision that came before the convention elicited so much feeling and discussion as this. 
Many were in favor of giving it a money value. Kingman's observing mind, extensive reading 
and sjTnpathy showed him that the big-hearted and generous pioneers were unable to cope with 
the money-getter and trader. He remembered that so long as Rome drew its soldiers from the 
small farmers and England from its yeomen their armies were invincible. He, too, saw with his 
prophetic eye the approaching industrialism, the growth of the urban population, and the weak- 
ening of home and family ties. Therefore, he, perhaps, was the best qualified man in the con- 
vention to give the homestead provision the comprehensiveness and scope that were needed. He 
had given it more thought and consideration than any other delegate, and he was more deeply 
interested in it than in any other question before the convention. He said : 

"Mr. Chairman : I have an argument against this. The gentlemen do not seem to make the 
distinction between a homestead and an exemption law. The object of a homestead law is very 
unlike that of an exemption law. And I think the amendment proposed is calculated to defeat 
the homestead principle. I think that is its object. It is within the recollection of many when 
it was the settled policy of many of the states that the land should not be subject to sale for the 
payment of debts. But the commercial interests of the country, by their power and skill, pro- 
duced a change which has subjected the farms and homes of the people to be sold under execu- 
tion, and so nearly converted our people into a class of nomads. I want, if possible, to restore the 
old policy — to change back again, so that every man or woman, if he plants a tree or she culti- 
vates a rose, that both may beautify and adorn their homes as they may choose, and have the 
benefit of the protection of the law. But if we put it in the power of the husband or the fortunes 
of trade to convey by lien or mortgage, the grasping creditor will take away the homestead. I 
want to separate this subject from anything like the consideration of an exemption law. I ap- 
proach this as a great measure which arises above all considerations of the rights of debtor 
and creditor. I abhor an exemption law. This is not of the same nature. This is to go forth, 
the promulgation of a great principle that shall encourage the cultivation of the soil. The case 
was well illustrated by the gentleman from Riley [Mr. Houston]; and though it would be impos- 
sible for me to emulate the flights of his fancy and the boldness and strength of his doctrine, I 
am not, therefore, restricted as to my full share of feeling and anxiety for the success of this 
most important ineasure." 

"Mr. President : I do not feel well— physically as well as mentally. I am totally unfitted 
now to discuss this question of a homestead law, and I do not attempt it. But in our action here 
I wish to insist on the clear distinction between the homestead and an exemption law. And I 
can see in the substitute proposed by the gentleman from Douglas [ Mr. Thacher ] nothing but 
an exemption law. It looks to me that every essential feature — every requisite of a homestead 
law, as I have advocated it, is abandoned in this substitute, and if adopted here I shall abandon 
all hope of a homestead in our legislation. To limit the value of the homestead to $2000 is to say 
to the owner : ' So long as your land remains unimproved, so long as it shall remain poor and sterile, 
it is yours ; but the moment you put your labor upon it, the moment you improve and adorn it, 
and make it inhabitable and beautiful, it shall be taken away from you for the payment of your 
debts.' This amendment tells him that his labor shall be in vain — tells him to keep away the 
hand of improvement — for if he advance its value beyond our limit his homestead — his re- 
liance for the support of his family — is gone. Sir, any limitation on the value of the homestead 
is wrong. One hundred thousand dollars is as disgusting to me as one thousand. I would not 
give a straw for the difl^erence, in this provision, between these two sums. In either case it is 
opposed to the principle that a home is a home — good or bad — valuable or valueless — it is simply 
the home— the hearthstone-the fireside around which a man may gather his family, with the cer- 
tainty of assurance that neither the hand of the law nor any, nor all of the uncertainties of life 
can eject them from the possession of it. Without this characteristic, a homestead law, to 
my mind, is most distasteful. But a true homestead law has always lain very near my heart, and 
I regret that both physical and mental infirmity prevent an exposition of my views at this 
time. If the value of a man's home stand up to $500,000 - if his labor and a wise location 
made it, let him have the benefit of it — let him have and enjoy his home and the society of his 
friends. It cannot hurt his creditors ; but it would give him credit and heart if , by a solemn act 
in this constitution, he were to be assured that no impious hand can disturb his possession that 
no unfeeling creditor can touch it. I am willing, sir, that the original article shall be so arnended 
as to have no application to debts heretofore contracted. I think it has that extent as it now 
stands. But I am not willing to give up this homestead entirely, and take in the place of it this 
bastard child of an exemption law." 

The homestead provision of the Kansas constitution was, it is believed, the pioneer enact- 
ment of its kind, and it was born in the brain and heart of Judge Kingman, and placed there 
through his efforts. It has never been changed or amended, or even successfully assailed. It 
has harmed no man, and has been the shield and guaranty of the Kansas home-maker for nearly 
fifty years. It is based upon the idea expressed in his own words in the convention — "Simply 
the home — the hearthstone — the fireside round which a man may gather his family, with the cer- 
tainty of assurance that neither the hand of the law nor any, nor all of the uncertainties of life 
can eject them from the possession of it. ... I am not willing to give up this homestead en- 
tirely, and take in the place of it this bastard child of an exemption law." 

This was Kingman's great work in the convention that framed our constitution. He never 



58 Kansas State Historical Society. 

dreamed of Kreatness as we conceive the term. He worked blindly and in the dark, as all men 
did in those early times when they planned for the future of a state that was planted on the rim 
of a desert, whose hopelessness far outweighed any promise of greatness. It would be enough 
of fame, as he conceived fame, if there were carved upon his monument the words 

"Father of the Kansas Homestead Law. 
Wyandotte, July, 1859." 

Great as was Judge Kingman's work in this convention, a greater and much more difficult 
work was still before him. In 1861 he became associate justice of the supreme court, and was 
twice thereafter elected chief justice. It was a most fortunate thing that Kansas had in its 
judiciary beginnings a man of Kingman's temperament on the supreme bench. He carried with 
him to the court probity, a high sense of honor, and a remarkably clear power of analysis. He 
brought to that work still other high qualities, among them a moral courage that was unassail- 
able, and a trained and disciplined mind accustomed to weigh and fully consider complicated 
propositions. His opinions remain to us models of judicial literature. Among his early judicial 
work he established for all time the standard for judges to follow in jury trials. His opinions on 
constitutional questions are familiar to you all, and because of them he has many times been 
alluded to as the " John Marshall of Kansas." In all his works there is manifest the principle 
that was constantly in his mind — no man can be above the law and no man beneath it. 

An instance occurred in the case of Albert Wiley v. Keokuk [6 Kan. 94]. Wiley was agent 
for the Sac and Fox Indians, and Keokuk was a chief. The acting commissioner of Indian 
affairs. Mr. Mix, had directed that no delegation of Indians should visit Washington because no 
appropriation had been made for that purpose. Keokuk had money of his own, and started to 
Washington. Wiley followed him and had him arrested at Lawrence. Later Keokuk brought 
suit against him for assault and battery and false imprisonment, and recovered $1000 as damages. 
Wiley brought the case to the supreme court, and the opinion was delivered by Chief Justice 
Kingman. Among other things he said : 

" Nor does it make any difference that the party injured is an Indian, whether he be re- 
garded as "a ward of the government,' or as belonging to a 'domestic dependent nation,' or ' a 
distinct independent political community, retaining their original natural rights ' — to each of 
which classes they have at times been assigned by the language of the supreme court of the 
United States. In any view, while keeping the peace, and disobeying no law, human or divine, he 
cannot be the subject of arrest or imprisonment by any one. except at the peril of the offender. 
His rights are regulated by law, ar.d when he appeals to the law for redress, it is not in the 
power of any tribunal to say, ' You are an Indian, and your rights rest on the arbitrary decrees of 
executive officers, and not in the law.' " 

This was Judge Kingman's inherent and natural view of the rights of man. He reduced a 
vague and much-used phrase to practical fact, and gave it a literal meaning in daily life. The 
terms in which he chose to embody this principle cannot be misunderstood. No man can easily 
forget the words in which be ridicules the position : " You are an Indian, and your rights rest on 
the arbitrary decrees of executive officers, and not in the law." 

When it is remembered that Judge Kingman was a sick man during his entire life, it seems 
remarkable that he was able to render such comprehensive and vigorous decisions, clothed in lan- 
guage that is a model of style ; and it may be well that in some happier epoch, when our University 
shall have taken its rightful place among the great educational institutions of the world, his 
decisions will there be taught as classics. 

D uring the years 1875 and 1876 his health declined and his bodily strength became very much 
impaired, and it was only by heroic effort that he was able to perform his judicial labors. His 
associates, with great consideration and loving tenderness, offered repeatedly to relieve him of 
his arduous tasks, made heavier by his ill health. But his high sense of honor would not permit 
him to increase their labors or accept a salary that he believed he did not earn. At the end of 
December, 1876, he resigned his judicial work. While he lived nearly thirty years longer, he 
never again took an active part in the work of a lawyer, although repeatedly urged to become 
the head of law firms. 

He was the best of the old generation of lawyers. His conception of the duties of a lawyer- 
one that placed his personal honor above all things else— could not be made to conform to the 
standards of modern commercialism. In the earlier years of his retirement he took an active 
part in the State Historical Society and our association. During this period also he gladdened 
the lives of his associates in what was known as the "Ananias Club." He had an incomparably 
sweet and sunshiny disposition all his life, with a keen intellect and brilliant wit. At this club, 
which he frequented daily for many years, he did not entertain his associates like Polonius. but 
by a far nobler delineation of character and nature. He ridiculed kindly, if at all. He did not 
preach. He saw the humor that is the strongest admixture in all human affairs. He believed 
in men as men, and honored women, and loved little children. He never quarreled, and rarely 



Samuel A. Kingman. 59 

«ven argued. He respected opinions not his own, yet clung to his own views on great subjects 
with a tenacity that could not be shaken. A deeply religious man, yet he was the partizan of no 
creed, the member of no organized church , the adherent of no prescribed form of worship. In 
his views he lived and died content, and with an understanding sufficient for all his needs. 

Children were Judge Kingman's most devoted and admiring friends. The long and sleepless 
nights, made longer by pain, were occupied in weaving and coloring the stories he told them by 
day, when they clustered around him as their best and wisest friend. 

Completely out of the ordinary, conceded always to be a remarkable man whether or not he 
was always understood or appreciated, there were times when Judge Kingman was more than a 
man — he was an age, as it were. Long before his death, he had exercised functions that were 
unusual. He had fulfilled a mission. He had been chosen to do a work ordained by the 
Supreme Will, which manifests itself as visibly in the laws of human destiny as in those com- 
moner laws of nature that all may study and understand. 

In the final analysis his life was one of devotion, prayer, and love for the Master whom he 
worshiped in his heart. His devotions were in secret, and prayer was the essence of them ; 
that conscious and voluntary relation that is entered into by the distressed and uncertain soul 
with the Power on which it feels itself to depend, and which guides its fate regardless of all the 
world may offer or contain. 

All I have said is but an inadequate review of the life and work of a remarkable man. It is a 
difficult task to describe Judge Kingman as he was. He was indifferent to all the allurements of 
wealth and fame. There was never a moment in which he was influenced by the hope of ap- 
plause. Ambition, in the usual meaning of the term, was not included as an ingredient of his 
inner life. He cared nothing for wealth, and an honest livelihood, and nothing more, was all he 
ever attempted to win from a reluctant world. His highest motive was the satisfaction of all the 
demands of that self-respect that makes the gentleman. He was a humanitarian in the highest 
sense ; a just man, a wise and far-seeing legislator, an impartial judge. Whatever the emer- 
gency, he never forgot to be a man, walking in God's image. Honor is but another name for 
conscience, and his sense of responsibility to that and to his fellow man Judge Kingman never 
forgot to the latest hour of a life of pain, that was yet prolonged some sixteen years beyond the 
limit set by him who wrote: "The days of our years are threescore years and ten." He lived 
and did his work in eventful days, and he survived to see the fruition of all his hopes in the great 
commonwealth whose foundation stones he helped to lay. It was to him enough. 



Hiawatha, Kan., November 16, 1904. 

Hon. Joseph G. Waters, Topeka, Kan. : My Dear Friend — You request me to send you a 
letter about Judge Kingman, to be read by you as a part of your address before the State His- 
torical Society, and I very gladly comply with your wishes. The field will be covered by you. 
My story will be brief ; a few rambling remarks upon a great man whom I long knew and loved. 
Of all the public men in Kansas whom I have known during a period covering more than forty 
years, this man, Samuel A. Kingman, is the most entitled to honor and affection. No apologies 
have to be made for him ; no unworthy acts concealed. His life was an open book, with no blots 
on any page. His years of a retirement enforced by frail health were spent with his family in a 
perfect home, with devoted friends who were members of a whist club, in the rooms of the state 
library, of which he was long a trustee and then the librarian, and in the quarters of the His- 
torical Society, of which he was the first president and always a director, until he resigned in 
favor of his daughter. Miss Lucy D. Kingman. 

Home, friends, books — these are the sufficient joys of our philosopher. His only political 
disappointment came from the broken promise to him of a United States judgeship, a fact 
known to only three or four persons. The treachery did not freeze the genial current of his 
soul. Had the promise been kept, his physical weakness would have soon caused a voluntary 
retirement. 

The last time I met him at his home, the fingers of his left hand kept the leaves of " Evelyn's 
Diary " partly open. Now, you know, the stranger may know hereafter, the catholicity of King- 
man's literary taste. The books that held him, that kept him fresh, witty, warm-hearted, up to 
the last day of a long life, are the books that live forever. 

Of the pain in head and body that so long stayed with him none of us ever heard a com- 
plaint. We only knew that through many a dreary year the happy man was too feeble to work. 
A diary from his pen, covering the years when he lived on a claim in Brown county, while he 
practiced law, while he was on the bench, and since he retired, would have a higher historic 
value than the written record of any other Kansas man. He knew the people and the questions 
before them, and his breadth of vision, his iron integrity, his freedom from partizan bias, his 



60 Ka7isas State Historical Society. 

wit and humor, his sweetness and lipht, made him the first broad and liberal man in Kansas 
during its first half-century. 

A man born thirty miles from the birthplace of Kingman's American ancestors, the son of a 
tallow chandler, became, by the voice of mankind, the greatest man that the eighteenth centui-y 
produced. The nearer any man in his make-up approaches the temper and spirit of Franklin, 
his common sense, his wisdom, the nearer he approaches, at even a great distance, that small 
band of Americans which includes Franklin and Lincoln, who are the highest types of American 
manhood. The temper and spirit of our own Kingman, modest, diffident, enamored with silence, 
come back to us and live again in the few lines from Franklin copied below. They are taken 
from a ten-minute speech made in 1787, when Franklin was eighty-one years old, in the conven- 
tion that formed the constitution of the United States. 

" The older I grow the more apt I am to doubt my own judgment of others. Most men, in- 
deed, as well as most sects in religion, think themselves in possession of all truth, and that when- 
ever others differ from them it is so far error. Steele, a Protestant, in a dedication, tells the 
pope that the only difference between our two churches in their opinions of the certainty of 
their doctrine is, that the Romish church is infallible, and the church of England is never in the 
wrong. But, though many private persons think almost as highly of their own infallibility as of 
that of their sect, few express it so naturally as a certain French lady, who, in a little dispute 
with her sister, said : ' But I meet with nobody but myself that is always in the right.' In these 
sentiments, sir, I agree to this constitution, with all its faults." 

Your friend, D. W. Wilder. 



Hon. J. G. Waters : My Dear Sir — I am much gratified to learn that you have been chosen 
to deliver an address before the Kansas State Historical Society upon the life and public services 
of Judge Samuel A. Kingman. Surely this is a theme that is full of inspiration. To do it sub- 
stantial justice will task your great power of analysis and your fine gift of description to the ut- 
most. The result should be a valuable contribution to the literature of the Historical Society and 
a splendid testimonial to the name and achievements of one of the state's most distinguished 
citizens. 

In response to your request for a letter to be read in connection with your address, permit 
me briefly to say that Samuel A. Kingman had the distinction of being one of the builders and 
pioneers of this great commonwealth of ours. He assisted in the work of establishing the state 
government of Kansas. He helped to fashion and write its constitution, to make and interpret 
its laws. The constitution, the statute-books and the reports of the supreme court are tablets 
upon which are graven his worth and deeds, and in these may be traced the commanding intel- 
lect which claimed men's admiration and the kindly heart that won their confidence and affection. 

It will not be necessary for me to do more than to indicate these facts and observations, as 
they will be amply elaborated in your address and form a part of the permanent files of the 
historical library. I may be pardoned the suggestion that in a large measure we are indebted 
to Judge Kingman for the judicial system under which the state is now operating, and which 
has endured almost without change for nearly half a century of time. Judge Kingman was not 
only a leader in the constitutional debates in the Wyandotte convention of 1859, but was chair- 
man of its judiciary committee, and one of the most prominent factors in all the proceedings of 
that remarkable assemblage. The homestead-exemption provision is credited to him by his col- 
leagues, and in one of the debates he justified its adoption in these words: 

"It is simply the home, the hearthstone, the fireside around which a man may gather his 
family with the certainty of assurance that neither the hand of the law nor any, nor all the un- 
certainties of life may eject them from it." 

Aside from his work in the formative period of the state govei-nment, his most illustrious 
service was performed as a member of the highest judicial tribunal of Kansas. His intellectual 
grasp was broad, his reasoning strong and clear, his judgment sound and just, and his opinions 
are regarded by the lawyers of the state as models of judicial expression. 

I well remember my first appearance before the judges of the supreme court, when it was 
composed of Chief Justice Kingman and Associate Justices Valentine and Brewer — a notable 
trio of Western jurists. As I now recall the circumstance, the matter I had to present at cham- 
bers was not of vast or vital consequence, although it might have seemed to me at that time to 
be of very deep concern. The judges then occupied and worked in a single room in the basement 
of the east wing of the capitol. When I entered the room and indicated the purpose of my call, 
the attitude of the judges impressed me in a way I shall never forget. Justice Valentine was 
dignified, serious, and attentive ; Justice Brewer courteous and good-natured, but at first 
inclined to ask questions in a somewhat mischievous manner. In the case of Chief Justice King- 
man, there was a desire to be immediately helpful, and this was so apparent that my embarrass- 
ment gradually departed. His voluntary suggestions indicated the proper course for me to 



Samuel A. Kingman. 61 

pursue, and his associates readily concurred therein, as they were no doubt perfectly willing to 
do from the beginning. 

This small incident of personal experience serves to illustrate one of the dominant traits of 
Judge Kingman's character : his kindly interest in the welfare of others, and his generous con- 
sideration for the young attorneys with whom he was brought into daily contact. The lesson 
of his life may be studied with advantage by both old and young. His good nature was unfail- 
ing, his big-heartedness inexhaustible. He made no enemies, cherished no resentments. The 
pleasures he most enjoyed were those he could share with his family and friends. The triumphs 
he won were not noisy ones, and they left no sting. His life was extended beyond the measure 
of human existence, and it was meant to be so. The world was better and happier because of 
his allotment in it. A better epitaph no man can have. 

Glancing at the list of representative men who have figured conspicuously in the history of 
Kansas and passed beyond its gloi-y and strife, I can think of no words more appropriate to ex- 
press in remembrance of Judge Kingman than the pithy sentence employed by Edward Everett, 
in summing up his estimate of the character of Washington : "He was the greatest of good 
men, and the best of great men. " Very respectfully, W.A.Johnston." 



Washington, D. C, November 25, 1904. 

Hon. Joseph G. Waters : My Dear Waters — Some time since I received a letter from you in 
reference to an address that you are to deliver before the Historical Society on Judge Kingman, 
and asking for a letter to be used on that occasion. 

You must excuse my delay in answering, but the first leisure moment has come during this, 
our Thanksgiving recess. 

My acquaintance with Judge Kingman commenced immediately after the admission of the 
state. That acquaintance ripened into a very strong friendship. I was intimately associated 
with him for some years, both while we were on the bench together and subsequently when he 
was acting as librarian. 

He was a capital raconteur and an inveterate joker. Few ever got the better of him in rep- 
artee. Nothing pleased him better than to have lawyers from the state gather around him in 
the court-room or the library while he told stories and cracked jokes. Very likely many of those 
who listened did not realize the serious, earnest character of the man who, for the time being, 
was amusing them as well as himself. Once he told me what led him into this habit. He came 
to Kansas partly on account of his health. He was not very strong, and was fearful that his 
lungs were affected. Hon. Samuel A, Stinson, afterwards attorney-general of the state, became 
quite intimate with him, and, recognizing his capacity as a story-teller, told him that if he wanted 
good health, and to live long, he must make that a habit. Evidently Mr. Stinson's advice was 
good. Judge Kingman did form the habit and he lived to a good old age. I fancy, however, he 
commenced telling stories long before he met Mr. Stinson. 

I recall two instances— and only two — in which Judge Kingman was decidedly worsted. One 
was this : An oil painting of the judge was presented to the court and placed over the clerk's 
desk in the court-room. James F. Legate, coming in one day, said it looked like John Brown, who 
also had a long, fiowing white beard. So we not infrequently called it our picture of John 
Brown. One day Doctor Wyman came into the court-room, where Judge Kingman sat smoking 
his clay pipe. After a little the judge turned to the doctor and said, "Doctor, what do you 
think of our picture of John Brown?" The doctor, who was old and near-sighted, put on his 
spectacles and went close to the picture. He recognized it at once, but stood a minute gazing at 
it, and then turned and said very deliberately : " If John Brown looked like that I don't blame 
Governor Wise for hanging him." Amid the roar that followed Kingman could only say that 
he wished he could think of some mean thing to say about the medical profession. The other in- 
stance was this : One summer Judge Kingman, Mr. Hammatt, the clerk of the supreme court, 
and I spent several weeks in Colorado. At Denver we hired a wagon, team, and driver, and 
went camping in the mountains. For the trip we purchased suitable clothing and left our ordi- 
nary wearing apparel in valises in Denver. On our return to that city we had just enough time 

Note 8.— William Agnew Johnston was born at Oxford, Ontario, Canada, July 24, 1848. 
He was educated in the common schools and academy. He came to the United States at the age 
of sixteen. He settled in Minneapolis, Kan., in 1872. He was a member of the house of repre- 
sentatives in 1876, and was state senator in 1877 and 1879. In 1880 he served as assistant United 
States district attorney, and as attorney-general of Kansas in 1881-'84. He was associate justice 
of the supreme court, 1884-1903, and by seniority he became chief justice January 10, 1903, which 
position he still holds. In 1875 he was married to Miss Lucy Brown, of Camden, Ohio. Mrs. 
Johnston served three terms as a member of the board of education of Minneapolis, and of the 
Ottawa county teachers' examining board for six years. She was president of the Kansas State 
Federation of Clubs, 1901-'02, and originator of the Kansas Traveling Library Commission. 



62 Kansas State Historical Society. 

to take the valises and jumj) on board the train for Topeka. There was but one train a day, and 
if we had stopped to clean up and chancre our clothes we should have been delayed an entire day. 
We were brown as Indians, and looked like miners or farmers. On the cars we had a most agree- 
able evening with Rev. Dr. John Hall, the famous Presbyterian preacher, of New York city. In 
the course of the conversation the East and the West came into delightful collision. Doctor Hall 
making fun of the Grangers, and we in like manner of the bondholders and Wall street. The 
jokes flew fast and thick. At one time Judge Kingman stretched out his hands and said, "Look 
at the hands of an honest Granger from Kansas." It so happened that the judge had not 
cleaned his nails, and Doctor Hall, leaning forward, said in an inimitable way : " It seems to me 
the hands of justice in Kansas are not clean." 

It must not be thought from all this that life to him was only a joke, and that he lived for 
nothing else but to laugh and make merry. On the contrary, fun was to him simply on the 
surface. His was a most earnest and serious nature. He believed most strenuously in the reali- 
ties of life and duty. He had high ideals of what one ought to be and do. At the same time he 
was very charitable to human weaknesses. Although more than once disappointed at the neglect 
or forgetfulness ( to use no harsher terms ) of supposed friends, I never heard him denounce them 
or speak harshly of their conduct. He would talk of the facts, but in a dispassionate way, as 
though he were simply expressing a judicial opinion. 

While tenacious in his opinions, he avoided any discussion of them which he thought might 
lead to unpleasant controversy, and .sometimes very clearly put the matter in such shape as to 
prevent any discussion. I remember calling on him in the summer of 1896. After the usual 
questions about health and family and matters of that kind, we sat down for one of our com- 
fortable chats, and about the first thing he said in that was: "Now, Brewer, I might as well 
state at the outset that I am going to vote for Bryan. I don't think it is necessary to go into the 
whys and wherefores, but I think it is better that you should know the fact." Of course, I took 
it as a suggestion that it was better not to enter into a political discussion, and none was en- 
tered into. 

Of his ability as a judge the early volumes of Kansas Reports will remain an enduring wit- 
ness. They who were with him in conference know how wise were his counsels, how clear his 
views, and how discriminating and correct his analyses of difficult and confused cases. 

He was one of the rare men of whom the poet truthfully says : 
" None knew him but to love him. 
Nor named him but to praise." 

Very truly yours, David J. Brewer." 



Hon. J. G.' Waters: DEAR SlR — I became acquainted with Judge Samuel A. Kingman in 
the early part of 1861. Afterwards we were members of the supreme court of Kansas together 
for eight years, from January, 1869, to January, 1877, he as chief justice and I as associate jus- 
tice, and we have been intimately acquainted with each other ever since. During that whole 
period of time I found him to be one of the most noble and honorable men whom I have ever 
met. He was just, honest and honorable in all his dealings and in all his judicial opinions. In- 
deed, his judicial opinions have been regarded and quoted by both the bench and the bar in the 
very highest of terms. 

His greatest misfortune was his lack of vigorous health. On December 31, 1876, he resigned 
as chief justice because of his lack of health. He was afterwards appointed state librarian for 
the state of Kansas, but again, after serving for a time in that position, he had to resign on ac- 
count of his ill health. But in all cases he was honest, honorable, and just. 

Yours truly, D. M. Valentine. •" 

Note 9.— David Josiah Brewer was born in Smyrna, Asia Minor. June 20, 1837. son of the 
Rev. Josiah and Emilia Field. He is a nephew of the late Justice Stephen J. Field. He 
graduated at Yale and the Albany Law School. Married, October 3, 1861, Louise R. Landon, of 
Burlington, yt., who died April 3, 1898, and, June 5, 1901, married Emma Minor Mott, of Wash- 
ington. He settled at Leavenwoi'th. Kan., in June, 1859. In 1861-'62 he was United States com- 
missioner ; judge of the probate and criminal courts of Leavenworth county, 1863-'65 ; judge of 
the district court, 1865-'69 : county attorney, 1869-'70 ; justice supreme court of Kansas. 1870-'84 ; 
judge circuit court of the United States, 1884-'89. December 18, 1889, he was commissioned asso- 
ciate justice of the United States supreme court. In 1896 he was appointed a member of the 
Venezuelan boundary commission, and in 1899 a member of the British-Venezuela arbitration 
tribunal. He is the author of several books. He lives in Washington, D. C. 

Note 10.— Daniel M. Valentine was born in Shelby county, Ohio. June 18, 1830. He is a 
descendant of Richard Valentine, who came from England to Hempstead, Long Island, in 1644. 
His mother was Rebecca Kinkennon. a native of Tennessee. He was brought up on a farm and 
educated in the common schools. He started in life as a school-teacher and surveyor. His fam- 
ily moved in 1836 to Tippecanoe county, Indiana. In 1854 Judge Valentine moved to Iowa, and in 
1859 to Kansas, first settling in Leavenworth, where he made his home for about a year, when he 



Samuel A. Kingman. 63 

Erie, Neosho County, Kansas, November 30, 1904. 

Capt. Joseph G. Waters, Topeka : Dear Captain— I received some weeks ago your letter of 
the 12th ult., in which you informed me that you had promised to deliver an address before the 
State Historical Society on the 6th prox. on the life and public services of the late Samuel A. 
Kingman, formerly chief justice of the Kansas supreme court. In your note you requested me 
to write you a letter stating something of my recollections of our deceased friend, to be read by 
you in connection with your address. 

I have been holding court continuously in this county since the 18th of last month up to and 
including the 26th of the present month, and have had no time nor opportunity to comply with 
your request until now ; and I am afraid that what I may undertake to say will fall far short of 
the standard I would like to attain in discussing the merits of our deceased friend ; but I have 
concluded to try to write you something, and, in doing so, I shall confine myself to some incidents 
connected with Judge Kingman which occurred in my early practice before the supreme court 
in the old days — 

" Those happy days of long ago. 
When I was Lee and you were Joe." 

The first time I saw Judge Kingman was in February, 1870, when he was chief justice of the 
supreme court. I had located in Kansas nearly two years previously, at the place where I now 
reside, but I was, comparatively speaking, only a boy, and a fearfully green one at that. Hence, 
my law practice, up to the time I met the judge, had not reached that court which the late Chief 
Justice Crozier styled " tri-pedal pier " of the state constitution. (Searle v. Adams, 3 Kan. 519.) 

But we had a chronic county-seat war in Neosho county that evoked, among other things, 
legal battles of the most unrelenting and acrimonious type. So it came about that, in February, 
1870, I went as the attorney of my town to Topeka for the purpose of applying to the supreme 
court, then in session, for an alternative writ of mandamus against the board of county commis- 
sioners of the county of Neosho, to compel them to move their records and keep their oflSce at 
the town of Erie, the alleged county-seat of said county. 

I realize now that when I walked into the supreme-court room on that cold winter morning, 
now nearly thirty-five years ago, my appearance must have been decidedly against me. We had 
no railroads in my locality then, and I had "staged " it, by day and night, to the nearest railroad 
station on the old Leavenworth. Lawrence & Galveston railroad, which then was either Garnett 
or Ottawa ( I don't now remember which i. So, when I entered the court-room, I was tired and 
sleepy, and, moreover, greatly awed by my surroundings. My tout ensemble ( if that is the cor- 
rect expression ) was not calculated to inspire confidence by any means. At that time Erie had 
no sidewalks — we simply had to stalk through the mud — and my footgear was of a nature 
adapted to local conditions. I remember that I was wearing a pair of old-fashioned cavalry 
boots, with the ends of my trousers tucked therein. Said boots were of a pronounced foxy hue, 
and well spattered with mud ; and, as regards appearance and condition, the balance of my garb 
was in hearty accord and profound sympathy with the aforesaid cavalry boots. 

Well, I removed my old slouch hat and overcoat on entering the court-room, piled them on 
the floor in a corner, and seated myself in the most-retired part of the room I could find. The 
court at the time consisted of Chief Justice Kingman and Associate Justices Jacob Safford and 
D. M. Valentine ( the latter being now the only survivor). 

There were several "big lawyers " with "store clothes " on, who were occupying the atten- 
tion of the court when I arrived, and I waited patiently for everybody else to get through. In 
the meantime I caught the eye of the venerable chief justice glancing once or twice over his 
spectacles in my direction, with a look in which curiosity and friendly sympathy seemed queei'ly 
blended. At last the big lawyers were all done and there came a lull. Judge Kingman removed 
his glasses and looked directly at me, as if to intimate that my turn had come. I thereupon 
arose and walked forward, and, addressing the court in the customary manner, stated that I de- 
sired to present an application for an alternative writ of mandamus against the board of county 
commissioners of Neosho county, and inquired if the court was at leisure to hear me. I was 
answered in the affirmative. Thereupon, taking the verified application for the writ from an in- 
side pocket of my "fatigue coat," I proceeded to read it to the court. I remember that just 
about this stage of the proceedings, one of the " big lawyers," a rather large, fine-looking man, 
who was seated a little in my front and to the left, turned sharply in his chair to the right, and 
clapped on his nose a pair of gold-bowed and rimmed pinch-nose glasses, and proceeded to gaze 
upon me with looks indicative, to say the least, of contemptuous astonishment. I have always 

located in Franklin county. He was county surveyor of Adair county, Iowa, 1855-'57, and 
county attorney of the same county in 1858. He was a member of the Kansas house of repre- 
sentatives in 1862 from Franklin county, and represented the same county in the state senate in 
1863 and 1864. In 1864 he was elected judge of the seventh judicial district, until 1869, when he 
was elected to the supreme bench, where he served until January, 1893 — twenty-two years. He 
was married June 25, 1855, to Miss Martha Root. They reside in Topeka. 



64 Kansas State Historical Society. 

thought that he was some Eastern bond lawyer, but I am not sure. His actions, however, came 
very near extinjiuishinK the last atom of presence of mind that I possessed : but I managed to 
strug-g-le throuKh the reading of my paper, and by that time had somewhat regained my com- 
posure. Then, in the briefest possible manner (knowing beforehand every word I intended to 
say), I indicated to the court as best I could that, on the facts presented and the law applicable 
thereto, I thought my client had made a prima facie showing entitling him to the relief de- 
manded, and took my seat. 

Judge Kingman then announced from the bench that the court would consider the matter, 
and inform me of their conclusion presently. The judges then retired from the bench and re- 
paired to their consultation room, and after only a brief absence returned and resumed their 
seats. Judge Kingman announced that the court had concluded to grant the writ, and then said 
to me: "1 suppose. Mr. Stillwell, you know that it is not the duty of the clerk to prepare the 
writ, but that you must attend to that matter." I answered that I so understood it. He kept 
looking at me in a sort of hesitating way and pitying manner, and finally said in a very grave, 
portentous tone : " You are aware, I presume, Mr. Stillwell, that you prepare the writ at your 
peril?" I made him a little, alleged backwoods bow, and in my meekest manner responded 
that I had been so advised. The fact is the writ had been prepared days beforehand, and was in 
my pocket then, but I had some sort of a shadowy notion that it wouldn't do toTsay so to the 
court ; it might cause them to sit down on me as altogether too fresh. 

Well, the writ was finally issued in due and legal form, and at the July term of the court 
that year the case came on for trial before the supreme court. The title of the case was The 
State of Kansas, on the relation of Joseph A. Wells, v. Solon E. Marston and others, as the Board 
of County Commissioners of Neosho County. (See 6 Kan. 524.) 

A mass of testimony had been taken by deposition, and in addition a number of witnesses 
were examined orally before the court. An incident occurred on the trial I have since frequently 
seen in print, but never correctly ; so I will now state it here according to my best recollection. 

H. C. McComas, of Fort Scott, and myself, were the attorneys for the plaintiff, and Ross 
Burns, of Topeka, and the inimitable John O'Grady, of Osage Mission, represented the defend- 
ants. ( All these lawyers are now dead except the writer.) McComas and Burns did the heavy 
work, while O'Grady and I were allowed to "limber to the front" only when the situation was 
such that neither of us was capable of doing much harm. We were both young, impulsive, and 
exceedingly technical. McComas generally kept a hand on my coat tail, and held me down when 
he saw that I was about to make an ass of myself, but O'Grady frequently escaped from his 
keeper. While the oral examination of the witnesses was in progress, he made numerous and 
persistent objections to various questions, and when his objections were overruled, as they al- 
most invariably were, he took a most emphatic exception. This went on for some time. Finally 
Judge Kingman looked down at O'Grady over his glasses, and slowly and impressively said : 

" Mr. O'Grady, the court notes your numerous exceptions to its rulings, which is your right : 
but will you kindly inform the court as to what tribunal you intend to carry this case in the 
event of a decision adverse to your clients ? " 

My recollection is that O'Grady did n't answer the question. Poor boy ; his face turned a 
fiery red ; he made one furiously quick spit through his closed teeth in that well-known way of 
his, and there were no more exceptions taken during the trial. 

But he laughs' best who laughs last. In the end O'Grady gained the case, and my people were 
beaten. It is perhaps in order to say, though, that a subsequent county-seat election resulted in 
the success of Erie. Some more years of heart-breaking litigation then ensued on the irre- 
pressible county-seat question, finally terminating in favor of that town. And lastly, about three 
weeks ago, the county officials moved into and took possession of a new $45,000 court-house re- 
cently erected on the public square in Erie ; so it is reasonable to assume that the county-seat 
troubles of the good people of Neosho county are ended forever. 

But the events of these latter days we could n't foresee in 1870, and my heart then was 
especially wrapped up in the case of The State, ex rel. Wells, v. Marston et al. At the close of 
the trial the court took the case under advisement, and so held it for some months. At last I 
learned in some way that the court would probably decide the case at its December sitting that 
year; so, during that session, I went to Topeka in order to obtain the earliest possible intelligence 
as to the nature of the expected decision. The morning after my arrival I went to the court- 
room, and on making inquiry of the clerk I ascertained that the court had handed down an opin- 
ion in the case the day before, and that it was against my client. Any lawyer who in his 
youthful days has lost a similar case will know how I felt. We had lost the county-seat, and I 
had to go home to that little town on the Neosho river and tell my people that their temporal sun 
had set ; that the game was up, and the last ditch reached. 

I was sitting in one corner of the court-room, reading and rereading that fatal opinion, look- 
ing, I imagine, like the very incarnation of mental anguish and utter wretchedness, when Judge 



Samttel A. Kingman. 65 



Kingman came in to g-et some papers from the clerk. He spied me sitting in my corner, in my 
loneliness and woe, and at once came and shook hands with me in the kindest and most fatherly 
manner. After a brief conversation he invited me to g-o with him to his room and visit a while. 
I tried to beg off, saying that his time was important, he was doubtless busy, etc., but the good 
old man silenced all my objections at once. He said the court had adjourned for that term and 
he had nothing to do ; and, taking me by the arm, he escorted me to his room ; we went in and sat 
down. He lit his old corn-cob pipe, put his feet, encased in coarse- white-yarn socks and old car- 
pet slippers, on the seat of an adjacent chair, and then proceeded to chat with me and tell 
stories, some comical, some pathetic, and all interesting, of incidents in his early days in Kansas 
territory and elsewhere. It soon cropped out in the conversation that the judge in his youthful 
days had practiced law for 'some years in the town of Hickman, Ky. It so happened that as a 
soldier boy in the Union army I had also been around and about Hickman to some extent ; so a 
topic was struck where we both were on common ground, and the judge's anecdotes of his ca- 
reer there, and his reminiscences in general, touching the bench, bar and clientage of his time in 
that locality, were simply delicious. 

But all the time neither of us alluded to my ill-starred " lost cause." Of course, I wouldn't ; 
and the old man on his part knew that some griefs are inconsolable, and, with consummate tact, 
he skilfully avoided the subject. But I have always been of the opinion that if I had gained the 
case I should have lost this delightful interview. I think when he saw me in the court-room he 
realized and perfectly well understood my intense disappointment at the result of my case, and 
thereupon the kind-hearted old man resorted to what he conceived was the best attainable way 
to cheer me up and get me in a more hopeful and pleasant frame of mind ; and when I recall the 
fact that I was only a young and exceedingly obscure country lawyer, utterly destitute of any 
political influence, or otherwise, living away out on what was then one of the frontiers of Kan- 
sas, while, on the contrary, he was a man of mature years, of profound legal ability, and the 
chief justice of the supreme court of the state, his cordial and unaffected kindness to me in my 
hour of sadness and gloom shows all the brighter and stronger the generous nature and kindly 
heart of the grand old man. 

From this on, until Judge Kingman retired from the bench by resignation, at the close of the 
year 1876, it was my lot frequently to appear before the supreme court in the discharge of the 
duties appertaining to my calling. And during all these years I was the recipient at his hands 
of the very kindest and most fatherly treatment and consideration, which I shall gratefully re- 
member as long as I live. My acquaintance with him continued, after his retirement from the 
bench, until he passed away. There are numerous other recollections of a personal nature con- 
nected with his career on the bench, or as state librarian, that I would like to speak of, but this 
letter is too long now. Take him all in all, I consider him one of the purest-minded and most up- 
right and conscientious men I ever knew. As a judge he was thoroughly grounded in the knowl- 
edge of the law, and had an intuitive perception and love of justice, and an abhorrence of fraud 
and iniquity in all their varied forms and guises. As the ordinary man, moving among his fel- 
lows, he possessed a heart overflowing with kindness and good feeling, and he was absolutely 
incapable of harboring thoughts of rancor or malignity. As was said of another, "his presence 
was a blessing, his friendship a truth," and his noble and lovable qualities of mind and heart can 
never be forgotten. Truly your friend, Leander Stillwell." 



TOPEKA, October 24, 1904. 
Mr. J. G. Waters : Dear Sir — You request me to make a statement as to how we neighbors 
of the late Judge Samuel A. Kingman looked upon him as a citizen. I am not a little surprised 
to think that you would ask of me such a task. I have been a near neighbor of his since 1877, and 
can now imagine that I see the judge, with his old corn-cob pipe in his mouth, his cane in hand, 
and his snow-white beard, standing beside my garden fence, and arguing with my dear departed 
wife about some beans that were just coming up, the roots lifting the beans above the surface. 
He said they were planted wrong and must be reversed, the other end up, and any one that did 

Note 11.— Leander Stillwell was bom in Jersey county, Illinois, September 16, 1843. 
He received a common-school education. He enlisted as a private in company D, Sixty-first 
Illinois infantry, January 6, 1862, and reenlisted as a veteran on February 1, 1864. He served to 
the end of the war, and was mustered out as second lieutenant September 8, 1865. He attended 
the Albany Law School, and was admitted to the bar in New York December 5, 1867. He came to 
Kansas in April, 1868, and located in Neosho county. He was elected to the house of representa- 
tives as a Republican for the session of 1877. He was elected in 1883 judge of the district court 
for the seventh judicial district, a position he still holds. In May, 1872, he married Miss Anna L. 
Stauber, of Erie. During his militai-y service he participated in the battle of Shiloh and the 
siege of Vicksburg, and in competition with several others he won a prize of $100 offered by the 
New York Tribune for the best account of the battle of Shiloh. 

-5 



66 Kansas State Historical Society. 

not know that by looking at them was very foolish. He was a great hand to joke, but in all these 
long years that I have known him I have never heard an unkind word or expression regarding 
him from any one that knew him. To do justice to that noble, kind-hearte<l and respected 
neighbor requires a far abler pen than mine. Often have I seen him at his home, on Seventh 
street and Monroe, with a half-dozen or more little children gathered around him. All was hap- 
piness and sunshine, because little children loved Judge Kingman. And those on the other 
side of that great chasm, who in this life knew the judge — I am sure he will be as welcomed by 
them there as he was respected here. The loss to this neighborhood can never be replenished. 
May his eternal pathway be strewn with flowers of the brightest hue is my most earnest desire. 

Most respectfully yours, Calvin Brewer. 



REMINISCENCES OF DODGE. 

Address by the president, Robert M. Wright,' before the Kansas State Historical Society, at 
its thirtieth annual meeting, December 5, 1905. 

I PROMISED our secretary and others that I would write a story on the 
great Indian fight at the adobe walls, where all the men engaged were 
Kansans, and I expected to do so up to a very short time since, when I found it 
impossible to get hold of a few facts and data. I could not complete the 
story without them. So I give you instead a description of the mirage, and 
a few stories about Dodge in the early days. 

Mirage Webster describes as an "optical illusion, arising from an un- 
equal refraction in the lower strata of the atmosphere, and causing remote 
objects to be seen double, as if reflected in a mirror, or to appear as if sus- 
pended in the air. It is frequently seen in deserts, presenting the appear- 
ance of water." 

If I were gifted with descriptive powers, what wonderful scenes could I 
relate of the mirage on the plains of Kansas. What grand cities towering 
to the skies have I seen, with their palaces and cathedrals, and domed 
churches, with tall towers and spires reaching almost up to the clouds, with 
the rising sun glistening upon them until they looked like cities of gold, 
their streets paved with sapphire and emeralds, and all surrounded by mag- 
nificent walls, soldiers marching, with burnished spears and armor! There 
would arise at times over all a faint ethereal golden mist, as if from a 
smooth sea, shining upon the towers and palaces with a brilliancy so great as 
to dazzle the eyes— a more gorgeous picture than could be painted by any 
artist of the present, or by any of the old masters. The picture as has pre- 
sented itself to me I still retain in good i-ecollection, in its indescribable 
magnificence. At other times the scenes would change entirely, and, instead 
of great cities, there would be mountains, rivers, seas, lakes, and ships, or 
soldiers and armies, engaged in actual conflict. So real have such sights ap- 
peared to me on the plains that I could not help but believe they were 
scenes from real life, being enacted in some other part of the world, and 
caught up by the rays of the sun and reflected to my neighborhood, or per- 
haps that some electrical power had reproduced the exact picture for me. 

How many poor creatures has the mirage deceived by its images of water. 
At times one unacquainted with its varied whims would be persuaded that 
it really was water, and would leave the well-beaten track to follow this 
optical illusion, only to wander farther from water and succor, until he 
dropped down from thirst and exhaustion, never to rise again, never again 

Note 1.— For sketch of Robert M. Wright, see Kansas Historical Collections, vol. 7, p. 47. 



Reminiscences of Dodge. 67 

to be heard of by his friends, his bleaching bones to be picked by the coyote, 
unburied and forgotten. On other occasions you would see immense tower- 
ing forests, with every variety of trees and shrubbery. In some places it 
would be so dark and lowering, even in the daylight, as to appear dangerous, 
though one could not help admiring its gloomy granduer. Then there would 
be fair spots of picturesque beauty, with grottoes and moonlit avenues, in- 
viting you to promenade, where one seemed to hear the stroke of the barge's 
oars on lake and river, and the play of the fountains, and the twitter of the 
birds. 

With the trail of the plow, followed by immigration and civilization, the 
wonderful mirage is a thing of the past. It is only now and then that one 
gets a glimpse of its beauties; its scenes of magnificence, far beyond any 
powers of description, I will never see again. 

Now I want to tell you something of the great officers who came to Fort 
Dodge in the early days. 

Gen. Phil. Sheridan first came to Fort Dodge in the summer of 1868. He 
pitched his camp on the hill north of the fort and next to my house. I saw 
a good deal of him while fitting out his command against the Indians, and 
he dined with me several times, together with the officers of the post. On 
one of these occasions, about noon, on the hills to the southwest, we saw 
with strong field-glasses what seemed to be a body of horsemen or a bunch 
of buflFalo. But they moved so straight and uniformly that we finally came 
to the conclusion that they must be Indians. As the apparition came nearer 
we discovered that it was but one ambulance with a long pole lashed to it, 
with a wagon-sheet attached to the pole for a flag of truce. It was the 
largest flag of truce ever used for such purpose. The driver proved to be 
Little Raven, chief of the Arapahoes, who had come in to have a peace talk 
with General Sheridan. As a result of the long talk, Little Raven badly out- 
generaled Sheridan. He said all the time he wanted was two sleeps to 
bring in the whole Arapahoe tribe. General Sheridan said to take a week 
and see that all came in. The old chief insisted that he only wanted two 
sleeps. He started out the next morning loaded down with bacon, beans, flour, 
sugar, and coffee. Little Raven told me afterwards it was a great ruse to 
avoid the soldiers until they could get the women and children out of danger. 
When Little Raven set out for Dodge, the women and children had started 
south, to get into the broken and rough country that they knew so well, and 
with which our soldiers were so little acquainted at that day. It was really 
laughable to hear his description of how he disposed of his ambulance after 
getting back to the tribe. He said the soldiers followed the tracks of the 
ambulance for days, so his rear-guard would report at night. The other 
Indians were for burning it or abandoning it; but Little Raven said he prized 
it so highly that he did not want to lose it. So they took off the wheels, and 
hung them in some very high trees, and concealed the body in a big drift in 
the river, covering it with driftwood. 

The last visit General Sheridan made at Dodge was in 1872. He brought 
his whole staff with him. General Forsyth was his aide-de-camp, I think, and 
his brother Mike was along. I had known Mike for some time before this, 
when he was captain in the Seventh cavalry. I was also well acquainted 
with the other brother, who held a clerkship at Camp Supply— a most ex- 
cellent gentleman. During his stay General Sheridan and his staff, with the 
officers of the post, were dining at my house. They had all been drinking 



68 Kansas State Historical Society. 

freely before dinner of whisky, brandy, and punch, except Mike Sheridan. 
These liquors were all left in the parlor when we went in to dinner, and there 
was an abundance of light wine on the dinner-table. When dinner was 
nearly over an important dispatch came. The general read it and handed 
it to General Forsyth, requesting him to answer it. With that Captain 
Sheridan jumped up and said to General Forsyth: "You are not half 
through your dinner yet, and I am; so let me answer, and submit to you for 
review." He then requested me to get paper and pen and go with him to 
the parlor. As soon as we reached the parlor the captain grabbed me by 
the arm, and said, "For God's sake, Wright, get me some of that good 
brandy, and say not a word about it." I replied, "There it is. Help your- 
self." He took two generous glasses, and then wrote the dispatch. 

The last time I had the pleasure of seeing General Sheridan was at New- 
ton. I was on my way to Kansas City, and stopped there to get supper. I 
was told that General Sheridan was in his private car. I called on him as 
soon as I got my supper. He knew me in a minute and received me most 
graciously. Not so with the brother. Captain Mike, whom I had taken care 
of many times and seen that he was properly put to bed. He pretended not 
to know me. "Why," said the general, "you ought to know Mr. Wright. 
He was the sutler at Fort Dodge, and so often entertained us at his home." 
I responde i to the general that I was surprised that he knew me so quickly. 
' ' I knew you as soon as I saw you, ' ' he replied, and then began to inquire 
about all the old scouts and mule drivers, and wanted to know what they 
were doing and where they had drifted, including many men whom I had for- 
gotten, until he mentioned their names. He said that he had been sent down 
by President Cleveland to inquire into the Indian leases entered into by the 
cattlemen. We talked about old times and old faces way into midnight, and 
even then he did not want me to go. 

In the first years of Dodge City a merchant in the town had a govern- 
ment hay contract. He was also sutler at the fort. There was also a sa- 
loon-keeper who kept the best billiard-hall in the town, an Irishman, and a 
clever fellow, whom the officers preferred to patronize, by the name of Moses 
Waters. Now, this Waters was full of jokes, and a fighter from away back. 
The officers made his saloon their headquarters when they came to Dodge, 
but, as a general thing, upon their arrival, they sent for the sutler and had 
him go the rounds with them— a chaperone they deemed essential, lest they 
might get into difficulties, and the sutler was as eager to have their company 
as they were to have him along. One evening about dark the post sutler 
came into Dodge from his hay camp to purchase a suit of clothes suitable 
for camp service. Waters, in passing along Front street, saw the sutler 
trying on the suit, and an idea struck him. He went immediately to his 
saloon, wrote a note to the sutler, as he had often seen the officers do, pre- 
senting his compliments, and requesting his presence at once at his saloon. 
The buildings on Front street were all low, frame shanties with porches. 
On the cornel's of the porch roofs were placed barrels of water in case of 
fire, and the sutler had to pass under these porches to get to Waters's sa- 
loon. As :-oon as he was properly rigged out in his new outfit, he hurried 
to Waters's saloon to meet his officer friends, as he supposed, not suspecting 
any danger, of course. But no sooner had he passed under one of these 
porches on the corner, than a barrel of water was dashed over him, nearly 
knocking him down, wetting him to the skin, and nearly drowning him. He 



Reminiscences of Dodge. 69 

knew as soon as he had recovered his breath, and as he heard the parties 
running over the roof to the rear of the building and jumping to the ground, 
what had happened and what was up. 

When he reached Waters 's saloon there was a crowd, looking as innocent 
as could be, and saying, "Come in and wet your new clothes," which was a 
common custom. "Yes," the sutler said, "I will wet them. Barkeep, set 
up the drinks. It is all right, and I am going to get even. ' ' There were, of 
course, no officers in sight. 

Some time previous to this. Waters, who had a lot of horses, and some 
fine ones by the way, had built him a large barn and painted it blood red. 
He took great pride in this barn, more on account of its color than anything 
else. He had cut out in front of each stall a place large enough for a horse 
to get his head through, to give the horse air and light. Waters had an 
Englishman, a very fine hostler, to attend his horses. One day, soon after 
the incident mentioned above, a tall, finely built young Missourian came to 
the sutler, as was frequently the case, and asked for work. The sutler said, 
"Yes, I can give you work. Can you whitewash? " He said, "I can beat 
the man who invented whitewashing." The sutler got two old-fashioned 
cedar buckets, holding about three gallons each, and two whitewashing 
brushes, a short- and a long-handled one. "Now," said the sutler, "I want 
you to mix these buckets full and thick, and go down to that red stable 
(showing him the stable) , and plaster it thick with whitewash. I painted 
it red, but every one seems to dislike the color, and I want it changed. But, 
say, there is a crazy Irishman, by the name of Waters, who imagines he 
owns the stable. He may come around and try to give you some trouble. 
If he does, don't give him any gentle treatment. Use him as i*ough as you 
can. Smash him with your whitewash brush, and if you can put a white- 
wash bucket over his head and nearly drown him, I will pay you two dollars 
extra. Try and do this anyway, and I will pay you more for it than for do- 
ing the job of whitewashing." 

Soon after the talk off went the big Missourian with his whitewash buck- 
ets and brushes. There was a strong west wind blowing, so he commenced 
on the east side of the barn. He went at it like he was mauling rails, and 
was doing a fine job. The Englishman was shut up inside, giving the horses 
their morning scrubbing. At last he was attracted by the continual knock- 
ing of the brush against the stable. In the meantime quite a crowd had 
gathered, looking on at the curious spectacle of the big Missourian white- 
washing the stable. At last the Englishman poked out his head, demanding 
of the Missourian: "What the bloody 'ell are you doing, anyway?'" Down 
comes the Missourian 's brush on the face and head of the Englishman, while 
at the same time he said that the man who gave him the job told him that 
an ignorant Irishman would try to stop him. This was too much for the 
Englishman, who went across the street to Waters's room, dripping all over 
with whitewash. 

Waters being a saloon-keeper and compelled to be up late at night, slept 
late in the morning, and was still in bed. Waters could hardly believe the 
Englishman's story, that any one would dare whitewash his beautiful red 
bam. But he put on his pants, slippers, and hat, and went over to see. 
Waters was a fighter— in fact, he was something of a prize-fighter, and was 
a powerful and heavy-set man, and did not think he could be whipped. The 
reason the Missourian got such an advantage of him. Waters told me after- 



70 Kansas State Historical Society. 

wards, was because he was trying to get up to him as close as possible so 
that he could give him a knock-out blow. But the Missourian was too quick 
for him. Waters approached the Missourian very slowly and deliberately, 
talking to him all the while in a very mild and persuasive way, but when he 
was almost within striking distance the Missourian put the bucket of white- 
wash over his head. It almost strangled Waters, and he had to buck and 
back and squirm to shake the bucket off. When he did, and had shaken the 
whitewash out of his eyes, nose, and mouth, what a fight began. The young 
Missourian was a giant, but Waters was more skilled by ti*aining. Still they 
had it, rough and tumble, for a long time, first Waters on top and then the 
Missourian. Finally, the Missourian found that Waters was getting the best 
of it, and, with a desperate effort, threw Waters to one side, tore loose, and 
made for the government reservation, only a few hundred yards distant, fol- 
lowed closely by Waters, amid great cheering by the crowd. It was indeed 
laughable, the Missourian in the lead, beating the ground with his big feet 
and long legs, with all the vim and energy he possessed, and as if his life 
depended on the race (and perhaps it did), followed by the low, squatty 
figure of Waters in his shirt sleeves and slippers, minus hat and coat, with 
the whitewash dripping from him at every point, and tearing down with 
equal energy, as if his life, too, depended upon the race. The race of the two 
men presented a most laughable scene, too ludicrous for anything. They 
both seemed determined on the issue, but the long legs of the Missourian 
were evidently too much for Waters 's short ones, and he finally abandoned 
the chase. 

There is nothing further to the story, except that the sutler had to hide out 
for a few days, until mutual friends could bring in a white flag and agree 
upon terms of peace. 

Among the other great men who came to Dodge City was "Uncle Billy 
Sherman," as he introduced himself. He came with President Hayes and 
party in September, 1879. The president did not get out of his car, and 
would not respond to the call of the cowboys, who felt that they deserved 
some recognition. It was a long time even before ' ' Old Tecumseh ' ' could 
be induced to strike the pace and lead off. But the cheerfulness, the hilarity 
and the endless jokes of the half drunken cowboys, who had been hallooing 
for the president until they had become disgusted because of his lack of in- 
terest in them, induced the general to appear. Then they called for Sher- 
man in a manner indicating that they considered him their equal and an old 
comrade. Although half of those cowboys had been soldiers in the Confed- 
erate army, this seemed to make no diflFerence in their regard for the old 
war-horse. They had an intuitive feeling that, no matter how they scandal- 
ized him, Sherman would be fair and treat them justly. I was astonished 
that their surmise was right, for when General Sherman appeared he handed 
them bouquet for bouquet. No matter on what topic they touched, or what 
questions they asked, he gave them back as good as they sent, answering 
them in the same generous humor. Before the close of the general's talk 
some of the crowd were getting pretty drunk, and I looked to see a display 
of bad feeling spring up. but nothing of the kind occurred, for the general 
was equal to the occasion and handled the crowd most beautifully. Indeed, 
it was laughable at times, when the general rose way above his surround- 
ings and sat down on their coarse, drunken jokes so fitly and admirably, 
that one could not help but cheer him. He had the crowd with him all the 



Reminiscences of Dodge. 71 

while and enlisted their better feeling, notwithstanding more than half of 
them were Southern sympathizers. 

President Hayes paid but little attention to the crowd the whole day, 
nor the crowd to him, but General Sherman kept it in good humor, and the 
presidential party at last left Dodge City amid strong cheers for ' ' Uncle 
Billy," a long life and a happy one. 

In the fall of 1868 Gen. Alfred Sully took command of Fort Dodge and 
fitted out an expedition for a winter campaign against the plains Indians. 
He was one of the grand old style of army officers, kind-hearted and true, 
a lover of justice and fair play. Though an able officer and a thorough gen- 
tleman at all times, he was a little too much addicted to the drink habit. 
When General Sully had gotten the preparations for the expedition well 
under way, and his army ready to march. General Custer was placed in com- 
mand by virtue of his brevet rank, and the old man was sent home. This 
action, as I am told, broke General Sully's heart, and he was never again 
any good to the service. 

General Custer carried out the winter campaign, persistently following 
the Indians through the cold and snow into their winter fastnesses, where 
never white man had trod before, not even the trusted trader, until he 
surprised them in their winter camp on the Washita, south of the Canadian. 
There was a deep snow on the ground at the time. The scouts had come in 
soon after midnight with the report of a big camp. ' ' Boots and saddles ' ' 
was sounded, and soon all were on the march. The command reached the 
vicinity of the Indian camp some time before daylight, but waited until the 
first streak of day, which was the signal for the charge. Then the whole 
force went into the fight, the regimental band playing "Garry Owen." 
They charged through the camp and back, capturing or killing every warrior 
in sight. But the camp was the first of a series of Indian camps extending 
down the narrow valley of the Washita for perhaps ten miles, and Custer 
had only struck the upper end of it. 

I have been told by good authority that early in the attack Major Elliott's 
horse ran away with him, taking him down the creek. Elliott was followed 
by some twenty of his men, they thinking, of course, that he was charging 
the Indians. It was but a few moments until he was entirely cut off, and 
urged on fui'ther from General Custer's main force. Custer remained in 
the Indian camp, destroying the tents and baggage of the Indians, until in 
the afternoon, and finally, after the Indian women captives had selected 
the ponies they chose to ride, destroyed the balance of the herd, about 800 
ponies in all. He then left the camp, following the stream down to the 
next village, which he found deserted. It was then dusk. When night had 
fallen he retraced his way with all speed to the first village, and out by the 
way he had come in the morning, towards Camp Supply. He continued his 
march until he came up with his pack-train, which, having been under the 
pi'otection of only eighty men, he had feared would be captured by the In- 
dians, had he allowed it to have come on alone. 

Now, I do not want to judge Custer too harshly, for I know him to have 
been a brave and dashing soldier, and he stood high in my estimation as 
such, but I have often heard his officers say that it was a cowardly deed to 
have gone off and left Elliott in the way he did. Many officers claim that 
Custer realized that he was surrounded and outnumbered by the Indians, 
and this was the reason he left Elliott as he did. The facts are that he 



72 Kansas State Historical Society. 

should never have attacked the village until he had more thoroughly investi- 
gated the situation and knew what he was running into. Some of his own 
officers have condemned and censured him, talking about him scandalously 
for thus leaving Elliott.- I cannot, however, see how he could have been 
badly whipped when he brought away with him about fifty-seven prisoners, 
besides having captured and killed so large a number of ponies. 

This is the story of Major Elliott as told to me by Little Raven, chief of 
the Arapahoes, but who was not present at the time. He was my friend, 
and I always found him truthful and fair. He said that, when Major EUiott's 
horse ran away with him, followed by about twenty of his men, Elliott was 
soon cut off, and surrounded by hundreds of Indians, who drove him some 
three to five miles from Custer's main body at the village, bravely fighting 
at every step. After getting him well away from Custer, the Indians ap- 
proached him with a flag of truce, telling him that Custer was surrounded 
and unable to give him any help, and that, if he and his men would surrender, 
they would be treated as prisoners of war. Elliott told them he would never 
give up. He would cut his way back to Custer, or that Custer would send 
a detachment to his relief sooner or later. As soon as this announcement 
was made the young men who had gotten closer, without further warning, 
and before Elliott could properly protect himself, poured in volley after 
volley, mowing down most of Elliott's horses. He then commanded his men 
to take to the rocks afoot, and to keep together as close as possible, until 
they could find some suitable protection where they could make a stand. 
They did this and stood the Indians off for nearly two days, without food or 
water, and almost without sleep or ammunition. They were then again ap- 
proached with a flag of truce. This time they told Elliott it was impossible 
for him to get away, which he fully realized. They said that Custer had 
been gone for two days in full retreat to Supply, and that he had taken with 
him fifty of their women and children, whom he would hold as hostages, and 
that if he and his men would lay down their arms they would be treated 
fairly, and held as hostages for the good treatment and safety of their 
women and children. They repeated that Custer would be afraid to be harsh 
or cruel or unkind to their women and children because he knew that, if he 
was. Major Elliott and his soldiers would be subject to the same treatment. 
Elliott explained the whole thing to his men, and reasoned with them that 
under these circumstances the Indians could not help but be fair. The con- 
sequence was that Elliott and his men accepted the terms and laid down 
their arms. No sooner had they done so than the Indians rushed in and 
killed the last one of them. The older Indians claimed that they could not 
restrain their young men. I have no doubt that this is the true story, and 
that thus perished one of the bravest officers with a squad of the bravest 
men in our whole army. The only other officer killed in the fight was 
Captain Hamilton, when the first charge was made. He was a bright fellow, 
full of life and fun.-* 

Note 2.— General Custer's account of the killing of Maj. Joel H. Elliott and his men is given 
in his ■■ Wild Life on the Plains," c. 1874, pp. 231. 253. 

Note 3. — The recollections of Georpre Bent, son of Col. William Bent and Owl Woman, of the 
southern Cheyennes. are beinj? published in a Colorado Springs monthly, The Frontier, under 
the title of " Forty Years with the Cheyennes." Young Bent left school to join the Confederate 
ai-my under Price, was captured, paroled, and turned over to his father by the Union authorities. 
He then joined his mother's people, with whom he remained during the war. He shows how 



The Wyandot Indians. 73 



THE WYANDOT INDIANS. 

An address delivered by Ray E. Mekwin,* of Galena, before the Kansas State Historical 
Society, at its thirtieth annual meeting, December 5. 1905. 

WHEN the first European explorers visited the new world they found the 
whole country in the possession of numerous aboriginal tribes; some 
large and powerful, holding dominion over a vast region; others small in 
numbers, restricted to a single village, possessing only a very limited terri- 
tory. At first it seemed that each of these tribes had its own language, dis- 
tinct and entirely different from the others; and the variety of languages 
and dialects seemed to be almost infinite; but after careful study by eminent 
philologists it has been discovered that these languages and dialects are re- 
duceable to a few primary stocks. 

The most northern group coniprised the tribes of the Eskimoan stock. 
They occupied a narrow strip of territory— seldom more than twenty miles 
wide— along the coast of British Columbia, Greenland, and Alaska. 

The tribes comprising the Algonquin stock possessed a territory triangu- 
lar in shape, extending on the north from the Atlantic to the Rocky Moun- 
tains, but gradually narrowing southward until it dwindled to a mere coast 
strip in Virginia and North Carolina, and finally ended about the mouth of the 
Neuse river. 

The next group, known as the Iroquoian family, occupied a territory 
which either lay within or bordered on the territory possessed by the Al- 
gonquin stock. Around Lake Erie and Lake Ontario, and stretching to a 
considerable distance inland on either side, were the Iroquois proper, and 
several other closely connected tribes; on the lower Susquehanna were the 
Conestoga or Susquehanna; and in Virginia, on the rivers bearing their 
names, were the Nottaway and Meherrin tribes. On the lower Neuse, in 
North Carolina, were the Tuscarora, while on the southwest, in the wilder- 
nesses of the southern Alleghanies, were the Cherokees, whose territory ex- 
tended far into the Gulf states. 

The country southwest of the Savannah river was held chiefly by tribes 
of the Muskhogean stock, occupying the greater portion of Georgia, Ala- 
bama, Mississippi, and parts of Tennessee and Florida. 

West of all these tribes was the territory of that great group known as 

* Raymond Edwin Merwin was born at Humboldt, Kan., in 1881. He is the son of C. E. 
Merwin and Lydia Ellen ( Welch ) Merwin. His father is a schooUteacher, at present principal 
of Central school, Lawrence, Kan. He was educated in the public schools of lola, Erie. Stockton, 
and Lawrence, all in Kansas. He entered the University of Kansas in 1899— in the college of 
liberal arts and sciences ; received the degree of bachelor of arts in 1903, and the degree of master 
of arts in 1904. During the school year of 1904-'05 he had the teaching fellowship in sociology 
and anthropology. His thesis for the master's degree was on "The Wyandot Indians," of which 
this paper is a portion. For this paper he was offered the Gorham Thomas scholarship in 
Howard University for 1904-'05, but was unable to accept. Mr. Merwin is a single man, and is at 
present principal of the high school at Galena, Kan. 

faith was broken with his people through the atrocities of the massacre at Sand creek, by the 
Colorado troops under Colonel Chivington, and gives the Indian version of the several engage- 
ments of the Eleventh Kansas in Wyoming, under Col. Thomas Moonlight, on Powder river and at 
Platte bridge, of General Hancock's Indian expedition of 1867 in western Kansas, the battles of 
the Arickaree and the Beaver, in the fall of 1868, and Custer's fight on the Washita, in the Indian 
Territory, in November of that year. The story is well told, and without passion. 



74 Kansas State Historical Society. 

the Siouan or Dakotan stock, extending in general from the Mississippi to 
the Rocky Mountains, and from the Saskatchewan to the Arkansas. 

During the colonial period, the tribes belonging to the Algonquin and 
Iroquoian families occupied a very prominent position; for, as native pro- 
prietors of an immense territory claimed by the two great rival European 
powers— France and England— their friendship was a matter of prime im- 
portance, and each nation made strenuous efforts to secure their alliance 
against the other. 

During this struggle the Algonquin tribes were allied with the French; 
while the Iroquois, with the exception of a single tribe, were either friends 
or active allies of the English. 

The Iroquoian tribe which did not join the English was the Wyandot. 
Their country was in the center of the scene of conflict, and as they were a 
tribe noted for fighting ability, their assistance was looked upon by both 
nations as of the utmost importance. But the French, by means of mission- 
aries, and aided by the fact that the Wyandots were enemies of certain Iro- 
quoian tribes, succeeded in making an alliance with them. 

From that time the Wyandot tribe exerted a more or less important in- 
fluence on the development of the colonies, and later on the development of 
the United States, playing a very important part in the early history of the 
two states, Ohio and Kansas, 

The Indians known as the Wyandots have during their history been called 
by a number of difi'erent names. Lalemant, the Jesuit missionary, writes 
that their true name is Ouendat, while other writers have called them by 
the following names : Tionontates, Etionontates, Tuinontatek, Dionondad- 
dies, Khionontaterrhonons. The early French explorers, who were the first 
Europeans to visit these people, gave them the nickname Hurons, or 
"Shock-heads," on account of the lines of bristly hair which adorned their 
half-shaven crowns. Another name often applied to them was Nation du 
Petun (tobacco nation). They were called this because of the superior 
quality of tobacco which they raised, and from the very significant fact that 
they produced it in such large quantities as to create a somewhat extensive 
commerce in its barter and exchange with other tribes. But to other peo- 
ple of the same race they were known as Wandat or Wendat, a word mean- 
ing simply "of one speech." This name was corrupted by the English to 
Wyandotte or Wyandot. To-day these people call themselves Wehn-duht or 
Wehn-dooht. 

Their history since the time that they were first visited by the early 
French explorers in the beginning of the seventeenth century is well known; 
but before that time it must be traced by means of their myths and tradi- 
tions. 

The ancient home of the Wyandots, and the place where they were 
created, is located by their traditions in the region between St. James bay 
and the coast of Labrador, north of the St. Lawrence river. Migrating 
southward, they came to the island on which Montreal now stands; and tak- 
ing possession of the country along the north bank of the St. Lawrence from 
the Ottawa river to a large river and lake (probably Coon lake), far below 
Quebec, they called it Cu-none-tot-tia, which means "the country of rush- 
ing waters " or " the rivers rushing by. ' ' ^ 

At that time the Senecas lived on the south side of the St. Lawrence and 

Note 1. — Folk-lore of the Wyandots.— Connelley. Twentieth Century Classics, vol. 1, p. 18. 



The Wyandot Indians. 75 

claimed the island where Montreal is now located. They were on very 
friendly terms with the Wyandots; and as the two tribes had been neighbors 
from time immemorial, and as their languages are very similar, they must 
have been closely related. East of the Wyandots were the Delawares, and 
west of them was the territory of the Ottawas.- 

When this migration took place and how long the Wyandots occupied the 
territory along the north bank of the St. Lawrence is not known; but they 
must have been living there about the beginning of the sixteenth century, 
since their traditions assert that they were among those who met Cartier at 
Hochelaga in 1535. 

According to the Wyandot legend, a deadly war originated between the 
Wyandots and their neighbors, the Senecas, because of murders committed 
by a Wyandot warrior. This man wanted a certain woman for his wife, but 
was refused because he was no warrior, for he had never gone out with a 
war party and had never taken the scalp of an enemy slain in battle. So, 
in order to fulfil the requirements and obtain the woman as his wife, the 
man raised a small war party, fell upon a band of Seneca hunters, and killed 
and scalped a number of them. This deed immediately caused war between 
the Senecas and Wyandots, which lasted for moi-e than a century. Fre- 
quently treaties of peace were made by the two tribes, but at every oppor- 
tunity, when one of the tribes would see an advantage over the other, the 
deadly struggle would begin again. ^ 

Seeing that they were in danger of becoming exterminated, the Wyandots 
decided to leave their territory. They traveled westward along the St. Law- 
rence, and, crossing it, followed along the south shore of Lake Ontario until 
they came to Niagara Falls. Here they remained for many years; but on 
account of pressure from the Senecas, who were moving into the territory 
now New York state, they were forced to move farther westward. 

Their next home was near the present site of Toronto, Canada. To this 

Note 2.— Folk-lore of the Wyandots.— Connelley. Twentieth Century Classics, vol. 1, p. 18. 

Note 3. — The history of the long conflict between the Wyandots and the Senecas is found in 
a letter from Rev. Joseph Badger to John Frazier, of Cincinnati, dated Plainwood county, Ohio. 
August 25, 1845 : 

" Having been a resident missionary with the Wyandot Indians before the late war, and ob- 
tained the confidence of their chiefs in a familiar conversation with them, and having a good 
interpreter, I requested them to give me a history of their ancestors as far back as they could. 
They began by giving a particular account of the country formerly owned by their ancestors. 
It was the north side of the St. Lawrence river, down to Coon lake, and from thence up the Uti- 
was. Their name for it was Cu-none-tot-tia. . . . The Senecas owned the opposite side of 
the river and the island on which Montreal now stands. They were both large tribes, consisting 
of many thousands. They were blood relations, and I found at this time they claimed each other 
as cousins. 

"A war originated between the two tribes in this way : A man of the Wyandots wanted a 
certain woman for his wife ; but she objected, and said he was no warrior ; he had never taken 
any scalps. To accomplish his object, he raised a small war party, and in their scout fell upon a 
party of Seneca hunters, killed and scalped a number of them. This procedure began a war be- 
tween the two nations, which lasted more than a century, which they supposed was fully a 
hundred winters before the French came to Quebec. They ( the Wyandots) owned they were the 
first instigators in the war, and were generally beaten in the contest. Both tribes were greatly 
wasted in the war. They often made peace, but the first opportunity the Senecas could get an 
advantage against them they would destroy all they could, men, women, and children. The 
Wyandots, finding they were in danger of becoming extei-minated, concluded to leave their coun- 
try and go far to the west. With their canoes the whole nation made their escape to the upper 
lakes, and settled in the vicinity of Green Bay. in several villages ; but, after a few years, the 
Senecas made up a war party and followed them to their new settlements, fell on one of their 
villages, killed a number, and returned. Through this long period they had no instruments but 
bows, arrows, and the war-club. 

■"Soon after this the French came to Quebec and began trading with the Indians, and sup- 
plied them with firearms and utensils of various kinds. The Senecas, having got supplied with 
guns and learned the use of them, made out a second war party against the Wyandots, came upon 
them in the night, fired into their huts, and scared them exceedingly: they thought at first it 
was thunder and lightning. They did not succeed as well as they intended. After a few years 
they made out a third party, and fell upon one of the Wyandot villages, and took them nearly all ; 



76 Kansas State Historical Society. 

country they gave a name which means "a land of plenty," because food 
was so plentiful. ^ But the Senecas forced the Wyandots to abandon their 
new home in this land of plenty. Moving northward, they entered the ter- 
ritory of the Hurons, who tried to drive the invaders away, but were unsuc- 
cessful. And when the Jesuits visited the Indians of this region, in the 
beginning of the seventeenth century, they found the Wyandots not only 
living in the Huron territory, but were even a part of the great Huron con- 
federacy. 

The Hurons at this time dwelt in several large villages in a narrow dis- 
trict on the high land between Lake Simcoe and Georgian Bay of Lake 
Huron. To the southwest of them, in a territory coinciding closely with the 
present township of Nottawasaga, Simcoe county, on the rising spurs along 
the eastern side of the Blue mountains, were the friends and allies of the 
Hurons, the Wyandots.'^ At this time the Jesuits estimated the total popu- 
lation of the tribes of the Huron confederacy at 10,000.'* 

The Wyandots occupied a very prominent position in this confederacy, 
and the Jesuits write that "they were deemed oldest in lineage and highest 
in civil rank. Their chief surpassed all other chiefs in pomp and dignity." 

In 1615 Champlain went among the nations of the Huron confederacy 
and persuaded them to go on a number of expeditions against the Iroquois. 
Usually these expeditions were unsuccessful, and the tribes of the con- 
federacy returned home baffled and humiliated. 

In 1649 the Huron confederacy had been destroyed by the Iroquois and 
their territory laid waste. Of the inhabitants who remained, some joined 
their conquerers and were adopted among them, but were allowed to live 

but it so happened at this time that nearly all the young men of the village had gone to war with 
the Fox tribe, living on the Mississippi. 

" Those few that escaped the massacre by the Senecas agreed to give up and go back with 
them and become one people, but requested of the Senecas to have two days to collect what they 
had and make ready their canoes and join them on the morning of the third day at a certain 
point, where they had gone to wait for them, and hold a great dance through the night. The 
Wyandots sent directly to the other two villages which the Senecas had not disturbed and got ail 
their old men and women, and such as could fight, to consult on what measure to take. They 
came to the conclusion to equip themselves in the best manner they could, and go down in perfect 
stillness so near the enemy as to hear them. They found them engaged in a dance, and feasting 
on two Wyandot men they had killed and roasted, as they said, for their beef : and as they 
danced they shouted their victory and told how good their Wyandot beef was. They continued 
their dance until the latter part of the night, and, being tired, they all laid down and soon fell into 
a sound sleep. 

"A little before day the Wyandot party fell on them and cut them all off; not one was left to 
carry back the tidings. This ended the war for a great number of years. Soon after this the 
Wyandots got guns from the French and began to grow formidable. The Indians who owned 
the country where they had resided for a long time proposed to them to go back to their own 
country. They agreed to return, and, having prepared themselves as a war party, they returned 
— came back to where Detroit now stands, and agreed to settle in two villages — one at the place 
above mentioned, and the other where the British fort. Maiden, now stands. 

" But previously to making any settlement they sent out in canoes the best war party they 
could, to go down the lake some distance, to see if there was an enemy on that side of the water. 
They went down to Long Point, landed, and sent three men across to see if they could make any 
discovery. They found a party of Senecas bending their course around the point, and returned 
with the intelligence to their party. The head chief ordered his men in each canoe to strike fire, 
and offer some of their tobacco to the Great Si)irit, and prepare for action. The chief had his 
son, a small boy, with him. He covered the boy in the bottom of the canoe. He determined to 
fight his enemy on the water. They put out into the open lake; the Senecas came on. Both 
parties took the best advantage they could, and fought with the determination to concjuer or 
sink in the lake. At length the Wyandots saw the last man fall in the Seneca party: but they 
had lost a great pror>ortion of their own men, and were so wounded and cut to pieces that they 
could take no advantage of the victory, but only to gain the shore as soon as possible, and leave 
the enemy's canoes to float or sink among the waves. This ended the long war between the two 
tribes from that day to this. ( Howe's Historical Collections of Ohio, vol. 3, pp. 594, 595.) 

Note 4.— The Wyandot name for Toronto is Toh-roohn-toh, meaning plenty ; abundance. 

Note 5.— Jesuit Relations, vol. 1, pp. 21, 22. 

Note 6. -Id., vol. .5, p. 279. 



J 



The Wyandot Indians. 11 

together, separate from their old foes; others fled to Quebec and placed 
themselves under the protection of their French allies. Only one group 
kept its tribal organization. 

The Wyandots (then called the "tobacco nation"), because of their location 
in the wilds of the Blue mountains, at first were successful in repulsing the 
fierce attacks of the Iroquois; but finally, their population becoming so re- 
duced by both war and disease, they, too, were compelled to seek safety in 
flight, together with some stragglers from the tribes of their former allies, 
the Hurons. 

Fleeing northward, the depleted band of Wyandots and their allies finally 
settled upon the island of Michilimackinac. Here they were joined by wan- 
dering bands of Ottawas and other Algonquin tribes, who had been driven 
from their territory by the Iroquois. But these fugitives had been at this 
place only a short time when the Iroquois again attacked them, and, after 
fighting a number of years, they were compelled to flee towards the south- 
west, settling on the islands near Green Bay, on Lake Michigan. 

But even here, in this isolated retreat, their old enemy again made war 
upon them, and the Wyandots and their allies were forced to move. They 
migrated in a southwesterly direction until they came to the territory of 
Illinois, at that time a very large tribe. In the Jesuit Relation of 1659 '60 
is to be found the following reference to the Wyandots: 

"Among other things they saw, six days' journey to beyond the lake 
( Superior) , towards the southwest, a tribe composed of the remnants of 
the Hurons of the ' tobacco nation ' ( Wyandots) , who had been compelled by 
the Iroquois to forsake their native land and bury themselves so deep in the 
forests that they cannot be found by their enemies. These poor people, 
fleeing and pushing their way over mountains and rocks, through these vast, 
unknown forests, fortunately encountered a beautiful river, large, wide, 
deep, and worthy of comparison with our great river, St. Lawrence. On its 
banks they found the great nation of the Alimiwec ( probably the Illinois) , 
which gave them a very kind reception." " 

But the Wyandots and their allies did not remain long with the Illinois 
Indians, but pushed their way to the west, until they reached the Mississippi 
river, within the territory of the Sioux. It was not long until the Sioux 
forced the fugitives to leave their territory, and the Wyandots retreated to 
the southwestern extremity of Lake Superior, where they settled on Point 
Saint Esprit, or Shagwamigon point, near the islands of the Twelve Apostles. 

While they occupied this territory a mission was established among them 
by the Jesuits. In 1669 James Marquette was sent to take charge of the 
mission. Of one group of these people, he says that they lived in clearings 
divided into five villages. "The Hurons (Wyandots) to the number of 400 
or 500 souls are nearly all baptized, and still preserve a little Christianity." » 

They remained at this place for a short time, but in 1671 they were com- 
pelled to leave because of the fierce attacks of the Sioux. They returned to 
Michilimackinac and settled, not on the island, but on the neighboring Point 
St. Ignace, now Graham's point, on the north side of the strait. 

At this time, one writer says: "The Hurons (Wyandots) and Ottawas 
are thorough savages, although the Hurons still retain the forms of Roman 
Catholic Christianity." "These people," writes Cadillac, "are reduced to 

Note 7.— Jesuit Relations, vol. 45, p. 235. 
Note 8.— Id., vol. 20, pp. 292, 293. 



78 Kansas State Historical Society. 

a very small number, and it is well for us that they are, for they are ill- 
disposed and mischievous, with a turn for intrigue and a capacity for large 
undertakings. Luckily their power is not great; but, as they cannot play 
the lion, they play the fox, and do their best to make trouble between us and 
our allies." 

In 1679 Father Louis Hennepin visited the Wyandots, and writes the fol- 
lowing account of them: 

"We went the next day to pay a visit to the Hurons, who inhabit a ris- 
ing ground on a neck of land over against Missilimakinak. Their villages 
are fortified with pallisados of twenty- five feet high, and always situated 
upon eminences and hills. They received us with more respect than the 
Outtaouatz (Ottawas), for they made a triple discharge of all the small 
guns they had, having learned from some Europeans that it is the greatest 
civility amongst us. However, they took such a jealousy to our ship that 
we understood since they endeavored to make our expedition odious to all 
the nations about them. The Hurons and Outtaouatz are in confederacy 
together against the Iroquoise, their common enemy. ' ' '■> 

Afterwards the Wyandots moved southward along the shores of Lake 
Huron, crossing the river and the lake, St. Clair, until they reached the 
present site of Detroit, Mich. 

This removal from Michilimackinac to Detroit is told in one of the Wy- 
andot legends, which runs as follows: 

"In very ancient times the Hurons (or Wyandots) had a great king or 
head chief named Sastaretsi, or Sastareche. They were then living in the 
far east, near Quebec, where their forefathers first came out of the ground. 
The king told them that they must go to the west, in a certain direction, 
which he pointed out. He warned them, moreover, that this would not be 
the end of their wanderings. He instructed them that when he died they 
should make an oaken image resembling him; should clothe it in his attire, 
and place it upright at the head of his grave, looking towards the sunrise. 
When the sunlight should fall upon it, they would see the image turn and 
look in the direction in which they were to go. King Sastaretsi went with 
his people in their westward journey as far as Lake Huron and died there. 
But he had time before his death to draw on a strip of birch bark an outline 
of the course which they were to pursue to reach the country in which they 
were finally to dwell. They were to pass southward, down Lake Huron, and 
were to continue on until they came to a place where the water narrowed to 
a river, and this river then turned and entered another great lake. When 
he died they fulfilled his commands. They made an oaken image, exactly 
resembling their dead king, clothed it in his dress of deer skin, adorned the 
head with plumes, and painted the face like the face of a chief. They set 
up this image at the head of the grave, planting it firmly between two 
strong pieces of timber, its face turned to the east. All the people stood 
silently around it in the early dawn. When the rays of the rising sun shone 
upon it, they saw the image turn with such power that the strong timbei's 
between which it was planted, groaned and trembled as it moved. It stayed 
at length with its face looking to the south, in the precise direction in 
which the chief had instructed them to go. Thus his word was fulfilled, and 
any hesitation which the people felt about following his injunctions was 
removed. A chosen party, comprising about a dozen of their best warriors, 
was first sent out in canoes, with the birch-bark map, to follow its tracings 
and examine the country. They pushed their course down Lake Huron, and 
through the river and Lake St. Clair, till they came to where the stream 
narrowed, at what is now Detroit; then advancing farther they came, after 
a brief course, to the broad expanse of Lake Erie. Returning to the nar- 
row stream at Detroit, they said: 'This is the place which King Sastaretsi 
meant to be the home of our nation! ' Then they went back to their people. 

Note 9.— Hennepin's A New Discovery — Thwaites. vol. 1, p. 116. 



The Wyandot Indians. 79 

who, hearing their report, all embarked together in their canoes and passed 
southward down the lake, and finally took up their abode in the country 
about Detroit, which they were to possess as long as they were a nation. 
The image of King Sastaretsi was left standing by his grave in the far 
north, and perhaps it is there to this day. "'" 

To-day this movement is thought to have been greatly influenced by the 
cunningness of the French, who it is thought manipulated the details of the 
turning of the image. The French had already established forts in Ohio and 
Michigan, and it is very natural that they should wish their Wyandot allies 
to be near these forts, so as to defend them from the Iroquois and the English. 
This would necessitate the removal of the Wyandots from their home in the 
north to the perilous vicinity of their powerful foes. So, by appealing to the 
reverence with which these people held the memory of their deceased king, 
the French erected an image of the great chief, and provided with great 
care that its face should be pointing towards the south by sunrise. 

In connection with the removal from Michilimackinac to Detroit, there 
occurred the death of Suts-tau-ra-tse, probably a grandson of Sastaretsi; 
and it is thought that he was also the last of the ancient line of head chiefs, 
or kings, of pure Wyandot blood. 

In this new home the Wyandots, although reduced to two villages, with 
a total population of not more than 1500 people, and only about 300 warriors, 
resumed their ascendency over the surrounding tribes of Indians. Charle- 
voix, in 1721, writes that "they are still the soul of the councils of these 
different tribes, and still assuming the right of sovereignty over the country 
between the great lakes and the Ohio, as far west as the Miami river." 
They encouraged the Shawnees and the Delawares to remove to the Ohio, 
by granting to them the possession, though not the right to the soil, of the 
territory west of the Alleghany river, bordering principally upon Lake Erie, 
the Muskingum and the Scioto rivers. 

Throughout the long struggle between France and England for the pos- 
session of the new world, the Wyandots were always the allies of the French. 
Many writers, in speaking of Indian allies during this great conflict, regard 
the Wyandots as the bravest and most powerful friends that the French had. 

In 1755 the Wyandots, Chippewas, Ottawas and Pottawatomies were the 
principal tribes that were the cause of the defeat of Braddock's army; and 
in 1758 these tribes attacked and captured Fort Duquesne. n 

In 1762 the Wyandots, all of the Algonquin tribes except a few minor 
ones, the Senecas and several tribes of the lower Mississippi were banded 
together under Pontiac. In that fierce struggle, known in history as Pon- 
tiac's war, the Wyandots played a very important part, especially showing 
great valor and bravery in the battle of Bloody Bridge, in 1763. 

In 1764 Colonel Brads treet with a small army proceeded along the south- 
ern coast of Lake Erie, for the purpose, it is said, of concluding peace with 
such tribes as solicited it, and to chastise all those who continued in arms. 
He received a deputation from the Wyandots of Sandusky and other tribes, 
who expressed an earnest desire for peace, and promised fidelity for the 
future. Nevertheless these tribes were very active in fighting Colonel Brad- 

NoTE 10. — Magazine of American History, vol. 10, pp. 479, 480. 

Note 11. — " During my negotiations with the Wyandots, in 1841 and 1842, I ascertained a 
fact which had previously escaped my notice — that they had no horses previous to 1755. The 
year of Braddock's defeat, the first owned by Wyandots were captured in that disastrous cam- 
paign."— Col. John Johnston, in Cist's Cincinnati Miscellany, vol. 2, p. 269. 



80 Kansas State Historical Society. 

street soon after. Later a treaty of peace was signed by the Wyandots and 
other tribes who had been at war. The number of Wyandots present when 
this treaty was signed (in 1764) is estimated by Colonel Bradstreet as 200 
warriors. ' - 

During the revolutionary war, the Wyandots, although small in number 
( having a total population of 900, and only about 180 warriors) , were very 
prominent and active allies of the English. 

At the close of this war the Wyandots, Delawares, Chippewas, and Otta- 
was, tired of fighting and weakened by disease and war, united in a treaty 
with the United States government, at Fort Mcintosh, on the Ohio, January 
21, 1785. This treaty was important in many respects. It inaugurated a 
system of dealing with the Indian tribes by written contract; also, showing 
the friendly disposition of the government, and at the same time demonstrat- 
ing that the government possessed the means of enforcing its mandates. 
Boundaries were established between the Wyandots and the Delawares, 
designating the Cuyahoga and the Tuscarawas rivers as the division line.^^ 

But even after signing this treaty these tribes could not be relied upon 
for living up to their promises; for, in 1791, they are to be seen taking a 
very active part in those battles which had such a disastrous effect upon St. 
Clair's army; and, in 1794, the Wyandots are again to to be found in the 
Indian army which was opposing the forces of Anthony Wayne and which 
was so hopelessly defeated by his troops. 

At the close of this war with Wayne, the Wyandots, together with other 
tribes, again signed a treaty of peace, at Greenville, Ohio, in 1796. By this 
treaty the Wyandots ceded to the government a few tracts of their territory, 
and in return received the sum of $1000.'* 

A short time before this, in 1795, Col. John Johnston, then an agent of 
the United States over the Indians of the west, took a census of the Wyan- 
dot tribe, and found the total population to amount to 2300 people. '^ 

In the war of 1812 that portion of the Wyandots that lived in Ohio re- 
mained friendly to the United States; but those living in Michigan allied 
themselves with the English. Tarhe, the eldest chief of the Wyandots, was 
summoned by the United States agent from Sandusky to exert his influence 
with his people. Together with his work and the earnest efforts of Col. John 
Johnston, the Indian commissioner, a large part of the Wyandots were per- 
suaded to remain friendly to the United States. On the 25th of July, 1812, a 
small party of Menomini warriors routed a company of Ohio militia near Sand- 
wich, and immediately a sudden change of sentiment became apparent among 
the Wyandots living in Michigan, which ended in a determination to join the 
British. "On the 2d instant," said Colonel Proctor (British), writing to 
General Brock, "the Wyandots having at last decided on joining the other 
nations, of whom they are the bravest and eldest, against the Americans, 
a considerable body of Indians accompanied the chief, Tecumseth (the 
prophet's brother), to the village of the Wyandots (Brown town). . . . 
I sent a detachment of 100 men under Captain Muir to enable the Wyan- 
dots to bring off their families, cattle, and effects. This was effected much 

Note 12.— Schoolcraft, pp. 254, 255. 

Note 13.— Id., p. 327. 

Note 14.— Revised Indian Treaties, pp. 184-190. 

Note 15.— Howe's Historical Collections of Ohio, vol. 3, p, 278. 



The Wyandot Indians. 81 

to the disappointment of Mr. Hull (American general), who has given them 
a considerable sum of money in the hope of retaining them in the Ameri- 
can interest." i** 

At the close of this war, that portion of the Wyandots which had adhered 
to Great Britian settled permanently in Canada; while those who had es- 
poused the cause of the United States remained about the western end of 
Lake Erie, in what is now Ohio and Michigan; their Ohio lands being located 
in that part of the state which is now known as Wyandot county. 

In a treaty proclaimed in 1819, the Wyandots ceded to the United States 
a large tract of their territory, for which the government agreed to pay 
them the sum of $4000 annually forever. Certain sections of the land were 
given to prominent members of the tribe. The United States also agreed 
to appoint an agent to live with the tribe, to aid them in the protection of 
their persons and property and to manage their intercourse with the govern- 
ment and the citizens of the United States. The government was also to 
erect a sawmill and a grist-mill upon the Wyandot reservation, and to pro- 
vide and maintain a blacksmith establishment for the Wyandots and the 
Senecas. The Wyandots were also paid for damages done their property in 
the war of 1812.'" 

In the formation of the noi'thwestern confederacy of Indian tribes, the 
Wyandots were most important workers, and were given the high position 
of keepers of the council-fire. This confederacy fiercely opposed the settle- 
ment of the territory northwest of the Ohio river by the American colonists; 
but finally it was subdued and the settlers were unmolested. 

Methodism'^ was first introduced among the Wyandots in 1816, by John 
Stewart, a mulatto, who, although not an ordained minister of the Methodist 
church, went among them of his own accord, and gained much influence 

Note 16.— Annual Report American Historical Association, 1895, pp. 329, 330. 
Note 17.— Revised Indian Treaties, pp. 197-209. 

Note 18. — " Before the revolutionary war a large portion of the Wyandots had embraced 
Christianity in the communion of the Roman Catholic church. In the early part of my agency 
the Presbyterians had a mission among them at Lower Sandusky, under the care of Rev. Joseph 
Badger. The war of 1812 broke up this benevolent enterprise. When peace was restored the 
Methodists became the spiritual instructors of these Indians, and continued in charge of them 
until their final removal westward of Missouri river, two years ago."— Col. John Johnston, in 
Cist's Cincinnati Miscellany, vol. 2, page 249. 

Among the manuscripts received by the State Historical Society from the Anderson family, 
at Manhattan, is the following, copied (only in part ) from the Rev. John Anderson, D. D., to his 
wife, Rebecca. Doctor Anderson was the father of Col. John B. Anderson, and the grandfather 
of ex-Congressman John A. Anderson. There are other missionary letters to and from Doctor 
Anderson concerning missions as far west as Franklin, Mo. : 

"Lower Sandusky, Saturday, August 17, 1805.— I reached this place last evening at sun- 
setting in good health. All the way I experienced an uninterrupted series of mercies, for which 
the greatest gratitude is due. My spirits never sunk for one minute. My health is much better 
than it has been at any time since the spring. I have not felt the least symptom of my common 
complaint in my stomach nor a pain in my head since I left you. My horse holds out very well. 
Not any cross accident has befallen me in any matter. I was kindly received by Mrs. Whitaker. 
The entertainment is as good here as any house in Washington can afford, and a hearty welcome 
is given. 

" Mr. Badger arrived this morning from Upper Sandusky, where he has been preaching and 
treating with the chiefs about opening a school here for the education of the children. There is 
a constantly increasing attention to the means ; they have quit drinking spirits, liquors, entirely 
at the Sandusky towns, and resolved to call a minister. The chiefs informed Mr. Badger that in 
years past they were afraid to have a minister less the people would use him ill when they got 
drunk. This difficulty being now removed, they appear much in earnest about getting a minister 
and a schoolmaster. The whole of this business is already finished, written, and signed, so that 
I have nothing to do but preach to them while I stay : and it is not likely I will be sent here again 
on a mission, as a resident missionary will be placed here soon. 

"Monday, August 19, 1805. — Yesterday the Indians met at Mrs. Whitaker's. Mr. Badger 
preached to them in the morning and I attempted it in the evening. They listened carefully to 
the sermons. Perhaps you did not see more attention paid to the word at home, by those who 



82 Kansas State Historical Society. 

over this tribe. He was forced to leave them in 1817,'" but the work was 
taken up by Rev. James B. Finley in 1819. In 1821 he built a small log 
mission and schoolhouse. Here the Indian girls and boys were instructed in 
the various trades of civilization. This was the first industrial school on the 
continent. From the beginning this mission was very successful, and 
soon a larger and better church was erected by the general government.-" 

The Wyandots were the last tribe of Indians in' Ohio to leave their ter- 
ritory and seek a new home in the West. By a treaty-' made at Upper 
Sandusky, Ohio, on March 17, 1842, they ceded all their lands in Ohio and 
Michigan to the United States. In return, the government agreed to set 
apart as a reservation for them 148,000 acres west of the Mississippi, and 
pay them a perpetual annuity of $17,000 ; also $500 per annum for the sup- 
port of the school. The government agreed to pay for all improvements 
made by the Wyandots on their lands, and also to assume all debts which had 
been contracted by the tribe in favor of citizens of the United States. A black- 
smith and an assistant, furnished with a shop and proper tools and material, 
were to be provided and maintained by the general government for the 
Wyandots. The tribe was to be given $10,000 for removal expenses ; $5000 
when the first detachment of people set out for the West, and the remainder 
when all had arrived at their new reservation. A few of the most impor- 
tant members of the tribe were each given a section of land west of the 
Mississippi. -- 

Col. John Johnston, who was, as commissioner of the United States, 

can understand it without an interpreter. If those who have the Bible in their own language, 
and an honest minister whom they understand, could be made to understand the greatness of 
their privileges in this one thing, they surely would fall down to adore the riches of souvereign 
grace which has cast their pleasant lot for them. And they would weep over the poor tribes 
who are destitute of a Bible and the knowledge of letters. 

" That man or society of men who does most to establish a Gospel ministry and schools among 
the Indians deserves the approbation and assistance of every Christian on earth and the thanks 
of the whole heathen world. I am not the man who can do much in this glorious work, but I hope 
that both disposition and talent are given to Mr. Badger to undertake and succeed in it. The In- 
dians have agreed to receive him as their minister, if he is willing to come to them. Oh, that di- 
vine providence may lead him to accept their earnest invitation, and make him the instrument of 
their salvation. Mr. Badger has gained the confidence of the Indians by giving them medicine, 
which has in every instance cured their disorders, as well as by instructing them in religion. 
Their eyes are opening by slow degrees to see their best interests. But pagan influence is exert- 
ing to keep them in the way to destruction. An impostor, who is called the " Prophet of the Six 
Nations,' is much talked of by the ignorant. He will endeavor to revive and uphold their old 
heathenism in opposition to Christianity. But the King of Zion reigns and will do all His pleasure. 

"To-morrow I am to preach at the lower town. I find it difficult to speak through an inter- 
preter, but hope to be enabled to set the plain truth before them for their edification. Mr. Badger 
designs to leave us on Wednesday. He has enjoyed good health all the time of his mission, and 
will leave us filled with the hope that salvation is coming to the Wyandots. He has furnished 
me with all necessary medicine, in case I should take sick, and with instructions respecting my 
mission. I may be accommodated with lodging among friendly and decent white people at 
every place but one that I have to visit, and there I am to be but two days." 

Note 19. — Among the relics in the Kansas Historical Society collection is a log from the 
house owned by Rev. John Stewart, a negro, who introduced the Christian religion among the 
Wyandots. The house was built on the sixty-acre farm adjoining the Wyandot reservation, near 
Upper Sandusky. Ohio, secured for him by Bishop McKendree, in 1821. Stewart lived in this 
house until his death, in 1823. Log sent to William E. Connelley by Emil Schulp, of Lovell, 
Wyandotte county, Ohio, August 22, 1900. 

Note 20.— Howe's Historical Collections of Ohio, vol. 3. pp. 599, 600. 

Note 21.— Revised Indian Treaties, pp. 1017-1021. 

Note 22. — These sections of land, thirty-five in number, could be located any where west of 
the Mississippi on Indian land not already occupied. They were known as Wyandot "floats," 
and were very convenient for town sites, because they were not held by the usual occupancy 
title, but could be acquired without the trouble and expense of complying with the ordinary pre- 
emption laws. A number of Kansas cities, such as Topeka, Manhattan, Emporia, were lo- 
cated on these "floats." The greatest part of Lawrence was located on the Robert Robertaile 
float, and West Lawrence was located on the Joel Walker float. 



The Wyandot Indians. 83 

negotiating this treaty of cession and emigration with the Wyandots, took a 
census of the tribe, and found the total population was only 800. ^^ 

Although by this treaty of 1842 the Wyandots were promised 148,000 
acres west of the Mississippi, yet such a large tract of unoccupied govern- 
ment land could not be found. The Wyandots then realized that they must 
purchase a home from some of the tribes that had already been moved to 
the West. So, while in Ohio, they made a treaty with the Shawnees, whose 
reservation was then located in Kansas. One of the provisions of this treaty 
was that a strip of the Shawnees' territory adjoining the state of Missouri, 
and running south from the mouth of the Kansas river, should be given to 
the Wyandots. But the Shawnees repudiated this treaty. The Wyandots 
complained that, when the Shawnees were homeless, the Wyandots ' ' had 
spread a deerskin for them to sit down upon, and given them a large tract 
of land; and now, when the Wyandots are without a home, the Shawnees 
would not even sell them one. "-^ Many years before the Wyandots had 
given a portion of their territory in Ohio to the Shawnees and Delawares. 

Notwithstanding the fact that they had no reservation, practically the 
whole tribe of Wyandots, numbering about 700 people, set out for Kansas, 
reaching there in the summer and fall of 1843. They immediately purchased 
from their old friends, the Delawares, who had come to Kansas in 1829, a 
tract of land of thirty-six sections, in the fork of the Kansas and Missouri 
rivers, all of which was located in what is now Wyandotte county, Kansas. 
For this reservation they paid $46,080, and, in addition, the Delawares gave 
them three sections — making a total of thirty-nine sections. -^ 

The Wyandots at this time were civilized, only about 100 being pagans; 
and for pride of race, courage, capability of vast organization, enterprise 

Note 23.— Howe's Historical Collections of Ohio, vol. 3, pp. 278, 279. 

Note 24. — The Provisional Government of Nebraska Territory. — Connelley, p. 2. 

Note 25. — Agreement in writing between the Delaware and Wyandot nations, on the 14th 
of December, 1843, for the purchase of certain lands by the latter of the former; confirmed by 
the senate July 25, 1848 ; 

"Whereas, From a long and intimate acquaintance, and the ardent friendship which has 
for a great many years existed between the Delawares and the Wyandots, and from a mutual 
desire that the same feeling shall continue and be more strengthened by becoming near neigh- 
bors to each other : therefore, the said parties, the Delawares on one side, the Wyandots on the 
other, in full council assembled, have agreed, and do agree, to the following stipulations, to wit : 

"Article 1. The Delaware nation of Indians, residing between the Missouri and Kansas 
rivers, being very anxious to have their uncles, the Wyandots, to settle and reside near them, do 
hereby donate, grant, and quitclaim forever, to the Wyandot nation, three sections of land, 
containing 640 acres each, lying and being situated on the point of the junction of the Missouri 
and Kansas rivers. 

"Art. 2. The Delaware chiefs, for themselves and by the unanimous consent of their people, 
do hereby cede, grant, quitclaim, to the Wyandot nation, and their heirs, forever, thirty-six 
sections of land, each containing 640 acres, situated between the aforesaid Missouri and Kansas 
rivers, and adjoining on the west the aforesaid three donated sections, making in all thirtv-nine 
sections of land, bounded as follows, viz.: Commencing at the point at the junction of the afore- 
said Missouri and Kansas rivers, running west along the Kansas river sufficiently far to include 
the aforesaid thirty-nine sections ; thence running north to the Missouri river; thence down the 
said river with the meanders to the place of beginning; to be surveyed in as near a square form 
as the rivers and territory ceded will admit of. 

"Art. 3. In consideration of the foregoing donation and cession of land, the Wyandot chiefs 
bind themselves, successors in office, and their people, to pay to the Delaware nation of Indians 
$46,080, as follows, viz., $6080 to be paid the year 1844, and $4000 annually thereafter for ten years. 

"Art. 4. It is hereby distinctly understood between the contracting parties that the aforesaid 
agreement shall not be binding or obligatory until the president of the United States shall have 
approved the same, and caused it to be recorded in the War Department." — Land Laws of the 
United States of a Local and Temporary Character, vol. 2, p. 849. 

In 1848 this treaty was confirmed by the senate, and in a treaty of the same year ( 1848 ) the 
Wyandots relinquished all claim to the 148,000 acres which was to have been given to them by 
the United States according to the provisions of the treaty of 1842 ; and in consideration of this 
the government agreed to pay them the sum of $185,000.— Revised Indian Treaties, pp. 1021. 1022 

The attorney who drew up this treaty compelled the Wyandots to pay him $40,000 as his fee 
The tribe was very much dissatisfied, but the attorney was permitted to keep his ill-gotten gains 



84 Kansas State Historical Society. 

and ambition, they were far superior to the other tribes of this region. They 
brought with them from Ohio a Methodist church, with a membership of over 
250, and a lodge of Free Masons, with a small membership. They also had 
an "organized civil government, modeled to some extent after that of an 
American state, especially in their manner of procedure and practice before 
their council, which was their court," and "a code of laws which provided 
for an elective council of chiefs, the punishment of crime, and maintenance 
of public order. ' ' -'' 

Shortly after the Wyandots came to Kansas, efforts were made in Con- 
gress to organize the Nebraska territory, which embraced in its limits the 
present states of Kansas and Nebraska. Stephen A. Douglas introduced 
bills for this purpose at different times; but they were referred to the com- 
mittee on territories, without further action being taken. 

These different movements aroused great interest among the Indian tribes 
whose lands were within the boundaries of the proposed territory; for it was 
evident to them that they must surrender their lands very soon if the terri- 
tory was established, although the government in the treaties with them 
had promised that the land should be theirs forever, and should never be a 
part of any territory or state. So, realizing the great importance of such an 
organization, the leading men of the different tribes called a convention for 
the purpose of discussing the matter. This congress met at or near Fort 
Leavenworth in October, 1848,'-" with the following tribes represented, which 
had belonged to the ancient northwestern confederacy of Indian tribes: 
Wyandot, Delawai'e, Chippewa, Ottawa, Pottawatomie, Shawnee, and Miami. 
Two other tribes were admitted to the confederacy at this time— the Kicka- 
poo and the Kansas. The Sac and Fox were represented, but, as they were 
ancient enemies of the Wyandots and peace had not been declared between 
them, they were frightened by a speech made by one of the Wyandot repre- 
sentatives and fled from the convention. 28 

This convention continued in session for several days, and the old con- 
federacy was reorganized, and the Wyandots were reappointed as its head 
and made keepers of the council-fire.-" 

When it became apparent to the Indians that they would sooner or later 
be compelled to sell their lands back to the government and seek new homes, 
they were then very desirous of having their territory organized and a 
territorial government set up. They saw that if they must sell their reser- 
vations, the white man must be allowed to settle in their vicinity in order 
that the land might be sold for a good price. Another reason why they de- 

NoTE 26.— Kansas Historical Collections, vol. 6, p. 98. 

Note 2?. — Nebraska Historical Collections, second series, vol. 3, p. 265. 

Note 28. — "Such was the awe in which they (Sacs and Foxes) stood of the Wyandots that 
when Governor Walker arose and displayed the wampum belts — the archives and records of the 
confederacy —the chiefs of these tribes kept their eyes fixed upon him. Governor Walker was 
an elixiuent man. He was familiar with the language of the tribes of the league. These belts 
had not been explained nor shown in council for a quarter of a century. Many a young warrior 
saw them here for the first time and hoard from the official oracle what his father had often re- 
peated to him about the ancient compact. Grizzled warriors looked upon them and thought of 
the glory of long-gone battle-fields, where they had met the enemy and gathered many a bloody 
trophy. At length Governor Walker took up a long belt, upon which was worked a blood-red 
tomahawk, indicating the declaration of war upon the Sacs and Foxes by the confederacy at the 
instigation of the Wyandots. At sight of this belt the chiefs of these tribes sprang to their feet, 
uttered a whoop of warning, and fled in terror, followed by their warriors. Messengers were 
sent after them, but they could not be induced to return to the congress." ( The First Pro- 
visional Constitution of Kansas. — Connelley. In Kansas Historical Collection, vol. 6, pp. 99, 100.) 

NotkI29. — Kansas Historical Collections, vol. 6, p. 100. 



The Wyandot Indians. 85 

sired a territorial organization was the wish to have the proposed line of 
railroad between the Pacific ocean and the Missouri river run through their 
territory. 

So the Wyandots, as head of the northwestern confederacy of Indian 
tribes, and the recognized leaders among all these tribes, determined to call 
a convention to be held on the day of the ancient anniversary of the green- 
corn feast, which was then on August 9, 1853. All the tribes within the 
proposed territory were invited to send delegates; and all the white men 
then residents of the territory were asked to come and participate in the 
proceedings of this convention. 

But before that time, on July 26, 1853, a convention was called in the in- 
terest of the Missouri (or central ) route of the proposed railroad, and it was 
decided to hasten the matter and organize a territorial government. The 
resolutions adopted by the convention served as a constitution for the pro- 
visional government of the territory, and under its provisions a provisional 
governor was elected. The man elected to fill this significant position was 
William Walker. Governor Walker was a member of the Wyandot tribe, 
his mother belonging to the Big Turtle gens. He had two Indian names— 
Hah-shah-rehs, meaning the "stream overfull," and Sehs-tah-roh, meaning 
"bright." Mr. Walker was a gentleman of education, refinement, and 
great strength of character, and one of Kansas' most influential men dur- 
ing its territorial days. "' 

The importance of this action of the delegates in this territorial conven- 
tion may be best stated in the words of William E. Connelley: 

"Abelard Guthrie declared that Kansas was the arbiter of the destinies 
of the republic. At the time of the adoption of our constitution slavery 
was not molested, but was suflFered to remain one of the institutions of a 
government set up for the liberty and perfect freedom of mankind. But 
even at that time the principles and theories of the Puritan and the Cavalier 
were antagonistic on this point. Who could have conceived that the spark 
to ignite the fires destined to burn away this foul barrier to perfect freedom 
was to be struck out by a people who were, at the time of the formation of ' 
our government, pagan savages; and that this should transpire in a land 
which was at the same time no part of our common country? Yet, such is 
the potency of our institutions, that in less than three-quarters of a century 
this remote possibility became a remarkable fact. 

"He would be rash, indeed, who declared that this movement was the 
cause of the rebellion; but that the organization of the provisional govern- 
ment for Nebraska territory was the immediate cause, the precipitating 
event, of the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska bill, the repeal of the Mis- 
souri compromise, the proslavery and free-state conflict in Kansas, and, 
finally, the war of the rebellion, I believe capable of demonstration beyond 
doubt or question. 

"The Wyandots, as head of the northwestern confederacy of Indian 
tribes, moved for this provisional government for the Nebraska territory. 
This antagonized the plans of the slave power for that country. This pre- 

NOTE 30.— William Walker was born at Gibraltar, Mich.. March .5, 1799. and died Febru- 
ary 13, 1874, in Kansas City, Mo. Governor Walker received a thorough education at Worthin.er- 
ton, Ohio, under the immediate instruction of the venerable Bishop Chase. After acquiring^ his 
education, William Walker entered almost at once an active life in behalf of the North American 
Indians in general, and of the Wyandot nation in particular, among whom he became leader and 
counselor, devoting the best years of his life to their interests. As early as 1831, he visited the 
Platte purchase as agent of the Wyandot nation, with a view to purchasing a new location for it. 
He was at the treaty of St. Marys, and rendered efficient services to all contracting parties. He 
was for some years the private secretary and friend of General Lewis Cass, his secretaryship be- 
ginning after the close of the war of 1812. and the friendship continuing until the death of the 
general. In 1843 he came to Kansas with his tribe, where he has remained ever since, except 
when he was called away on business or for his health. . . . He acquired his title of governor 
in 1853, when he was appointed provisional governor of Kansas territory. — Wyandot Herald of 
February 19, 1874. 



86 Kansas State Historical Society. 

monitory movement, inaugurated at the mouth of the Kansas river, gathered 
strength. It raised its head in Washington, and its voice was heard in the 
halls of Congress. It became formidable through the circumstances enumer- 
ated herein. It forced the conflict. The slave power mustered every re- 
source for the final struggle, which it foresaw must be a desperate one, for 
its existence. But it foresaw, also, that if it retained an existence it could 
thenceforth dominate the nation. Its first aggressive act in opposition to 
this movement was the introduction of the Kansas-Nebraska bill. The 
second was the repeal of the Missouri compromise. At this stage the con- 
flict became national ; and the little band at the mouth of the Kansas, whose 
action precipitated the struggle, had nothing to say in its settlement until it 
came to open blows and become a question of the life of the nation." " 

In the war with Mexico, and also during the civil war, some of the 
Wyandots were enlisted in the Union armies, and they did not fail to sus- 
tain the enviable record which their ancestors had made during the colonial 
wars. -'2 

In the early part of March, 1855, the Wyandots signed a treaty, by the 
provisions of which the tribe was given the right of claiming citizenship 
under the laws of the United States. They ceded their reservation of 
thirty-nine sections, which they had bought of the Delawares in 1843, to the 
general government. The land, with the exception of a few small tracts, 
was then given back to them in severalty, under a new and better title; i. e., 
declared open to allotment on a fee-simple patent. Those portions not re- 
conveyed were the ground then used as a public burial-place, '■ two acres 
apiece to the two Methodist churches, and four acres adjoining the Wyandot 
ferry. The tribe was also to surrender all claims which they might hold 
under previous treaties ; and in consideration of this release, the general 
government agreed to pay to the individual members of the tribe the sum 
of $380,000. The Wyandots were to receive in severalty the sum of $100,000, 
which had been invested according to the provisions of the treaty of 1850. '^ 

A slight revival of the old promise found in so many of the old Indian 
treaties, that the reservation should always remain outside the limits of a 
state or territory, is to be found in the following: 

"None of the lands to be thus assigned and patented to the Wyandots 
shall be subject to taxation for a period of five years from and after the 
organization of a state government over the territory where they reside ; 
and those of the incompetent classes shall not be aliened or released for a 
longer period than two years, and shall be exempt from levy, sale, or for- 
feiture, until otherwise provided by state legislation, with the assent of 
Congress."''^ 

Note 31. — Kansas Historical Collections, vol. 6, p. 110. 

Note 32.— Nebraska Historical Collections, second series, vol. 3, pp. 107, 108. 

Note 33.— This burial-ground, known as Huron cemetery, was set apart for this purpose 
soon after the tribe came to Kansas, when there was much sickness and many deaths in the 
Wyandot nation, in consequence of protracted rains and great floods in May and June in 1844. 
There were probably 400 burials in this place between 1844 and 1855. This was their only burial- 
ground until a short time before the civil war. Before this war a division in the Methodist 
church, with which a majority of the Wyandots were affiliated, caused some of them to select a 
different cemetery. Aunt Lucy B. Armstrong, who adhered to the north Methodist church, 
built a church at Quindaro, and a cemetery was laid out at this place. 

For many years the people of Kansas City. Kan., have tried to persuade the Wyandots to 
con.sent to the sale of the old cemetery, and recently the tribe has agreed to sell it : but before 
they can dispose of the land a bill will have to pass both houses of Congress, giving a commission 
power to negotiate the sale. As the land is located in the very heart of Kansas City, Kan., it is 
very valuable, the price asked for it being .$50,000. If it is sold, about .$10,000 will be expended in 
the removal of the bodies interred there, and the remaining sum will be divided among the mem- 
bers of the tribe. 

Note 34.- Revised Indian Treaties, pp. 1022-1028. 

Note 35.- Id., p. 1026. 



The Wyandot Indians. 87 

The most peculiar provision of this treaty was the division of the mem- 
bers of the tribe into two classes, the competents and the incompetents, 
according to whether thej'^ wez'e "sufficiently intelligent, competent and 
prudent to control and manage their affairs and interests." Patents con- 
taining an absolute and unconditional grant in fee simple were to be given 
to the competents; but the patents given to the incompetents showed that 
the lands were not to be sold or alienated for a period of five years, and 
not then without the consent of the president of the United States. The 
patents could also be withheld from the incompetents by the commissioner 
of Indian affairs as long as he thought best. 

As a result of the division of the tribe into these two classes there was 
great dissatisfaction, for it seemed that the competents had a most decided 
advantage over the incompetents. It was thought that this was only a 
' ' smooth way ' ' for the leaders and the most influential men to get posses- 
sion of all the property belonging to the tribe. "^ 

So in 1868 the Wyandots, tired of the conditions imposed upon them by 
the treaty of 1855, again negotiated a treaty with the government. 'By this 
treaty, '" all the Wyandots who desired to do so, and all incompetents de- 
scribed in the treaty of 1855, could again become members of the Wyandot 
tribe and be placed on a reservation. This reservation selected for them was 
a tract of land which had been ceded to the general govex*nment by the 
Senecas and was a part of their reservation. According to the treaty be- 
tween the Senecas and the government, the land ceded was "to be bounded 
on the east by the state of Missouri, on the north by the north line of the 
reservation, on the west by the Neosho river, and running south for the 
necessary distance to contain 20,000 acres. •'^ 

Immediately after this reservation was set apart for them over 200 of the 
Wyandots moved to their new home, but many of those who had become 
citizens remained in Wyandotte county, where they or their descendants are 
still living. The majority of those who first occupied the reservation be- 
longed to the class designated in the treaty of 1855 as the incompetents, and 
for a time they were in very poor circumstances. The United States agent 
for them writes, in 1872: 

"They (Wyandots) are poor, and having no annuities and but little force 
of character are making slight progress in industry and civilization. They 
have been lately joined by members of the tribe who, under the treaty, ac- 
cepted citizenship. These, desiring to resume their relations with their 
people, have been again adopted into the tribe. Inasmuch as the new- 
comers are decidedly superior in point of industrial attainments, education, 
and energy of character, it is hoped that the condition of the tribe may be 
improved by their accession." ■■'■' 

It was not long until many of those who had accepted citizenship became 
tired of their responsible positions and joined their tribe in the Indian Ter- 

Note36.— Tauroomee, chief of the Wyandots, was bitterly opposed to this treaty, for he 
knew that manv of his tribe were not prepared to shoulder the responsibilities of citizenship. 
But as a majority of his people voted in favor of the new arrangement, Tauroomee, with reluc- 
tance, signed the treaty, "it was not long until the foresight of the chief was evident, for many 
of the people soon squandered their lands and were without homes, and were even suffering for 
the necessaries of life. Tauroomee then began to look for a new home for them, and, after many 
discouragements, finally obtained the present reservation in the Indian Territory. 

Note 37.— Revised Indian Treaties, pp. 844, 845. 

Note 38.- Id., pp. 840, 841. 

Note 39.— Report of the Indian Commissioner, 1872, p. 39. 



88 Kansas State Historical Society. 

ritory. From that time the condition of the tribe gradually improved, and 
to-day it is one of the most advanced and progressive tribes in the territory. 

They are becoming more and more progressive; building houses, bams, 
fences, and all kinds of improvements, and acquiring stock of all kinds; 
using the prairie land for stock-raising principally, and the land along the 
streams for agricultural purposes. The men are good business men and 
traders, but are not so industrious as the women, some of whom are good 
housekeepers, neat and tidy, dress well, and present a very respectable ap- 
pearance. All of them wear citizens' clothes. Over 250 are able to read, and 
about 300 are able to use enough English for ordinary convei-sation. In 1902 
the number of Wyandots living on the reservation was 354—159 males and 
195 females. There were ninety-seven children of school age. ^" 

They hold their land in severalty; 20,695 acres are allotted and only 535 
acres are unallotted or tribal land. When the lands were allotted, the heads 
of families received 160 acres ; single persons, 80 acres ; the children under 
twenty-one years of age, 40 acres. By the Indian appropriation act, ap- 
proved June 10, 1896, it was provided that certain portions of the reserva- 
tion might be sold by the adult allottees. Since then 455.50 acres have 
been sold, at a valuation of $9552.^' A great deal of the land has been leased ; 
about forty per cent, of the income of the tribe being from this source." 

The Seneca boarding-school is located on the Wyandot reservation, and 
is attended by all the tribes of this agency. Here the children are taught 
the common industries : housekeeping, sewing and fancy work to the girls, 
and all kinds of farm industries to the boys. 

There are now three churches on their reservation ; one has recently 
burned down. Three missionaries conduct services in these churches and 
take great interest in the spiritual welfare of the people. The religion of 
the Wyandots who have been converted to Christianity is about equally di- 
vided between the Methodists and the Society of Friends. 

To-day the Wyandots have entirely lost the greater part of their old tra- 
ditions and legends. Some of them speak a kind of dialect of the pure Wy- 
andot language, but most of them speak English. They have a chief whom 
they elect annually, but his power is nominal. Polygamy has been aban- 
doned for many years, and the marriage relation is strictly adhered to. 

At the present time the Wyandot tribe is more white than Indian. There 
is not so much as a half-blood member of the tribe living. The last full- 
blood Wyandot died in Canada in 1820. His name was Yah-nyah-meh-deh. " 

Note 40.— Annual Report United States Commissioner of Indian Affairs, 1902, p. 632. 

Note 41.— Id., pp. 68, 69. 

Note 42.— Id., p. 633. 

Note 43.— Folk-lore of the Wyandots.— Connelley. Twentieth Century Classics, vol. 1, p. 8. 



Building the Sedan Court-House. 89 



BUILDING THE SEDAN COURT-HOUSE. 

An address delivei'ed by H. B. Kelly ' before the Kansas State Historical Society, at its 
thirtieth annual meeting-, December 5, 1905. 

ABOUT the first of August, 1875, the county officers of the new county of 
Chautauqua moved to the town site of Sedan, and for offices occupied 
an old frame structure, the only building on the town site, and which had 
been unoccupied for some time. 

In January of that year the legislature had obliterated ^ Howard county 
and erected from the territory thereof the two counties, Elk and Chautau- 
qua. Ed. Jaquins,-^ the member from Howard, introduced and passed the 
bill creating the two new counties, the bill designating Howard City county- 
seat of Elk and the town site of Sedan county-seat of Chautauqua. 

Immediately upon the passage of the bill the validity of the law was 
contested in the courts, and when sustained by the supreme court, in July, 
the new counties organized and became successors to Howard county. Elk 
having been named after the river running through the county, and Chau- 
tauqua for Ed. Jaquins's home county in New York. 

The division of Howard county and its obliteration was the result of 
county-seat elections and contests that had extended over a period of five 
years, to the great detriment of the county, resulting in an indebtedness of 
about $50,000, with nothing to show for it. 

With the removal of the county oflficers to the designated county-seat of 
the new county of Chautauqua, the writer and his partner removed their 
printing-office, from which they were issuing the Elk Falls Journal, to Se- 
dan, where they commenced the publication of the Chautauqua Journal. At 
about the same time two small stores of mixed stocks were opened in tem- 
porary box buildings, while a third building was erected in which a saloon 
was opened. Another building of the same class was erected for a boarding- 
house, where the county officers and those on and about the town site found 
something to eat, lodging as best they could. 

With this start at Sedan, Peru, seven miles to the east, a town of about 
200 population, seconded by the people near the geographical center of the 
county, moved in the matter of circulating a petition for a county-seat elec- 
tion. A petition containing the requisite number of names for an election 
was soon secured, when the county commissioners were requested to con- 

NOTE 1.— H. B. Kelly was born in Richmond, Ky., February 28, 1843. His parents moved 
to Iowa in 1849. He enlisted in 1862 in company C, First Iowa cavalry, and served three years as 
a private soldier. At the close of the war he settled in Atchison county, teaching school ; also 
teaching in Buchanan county, Missouri. In the spring of 1872 he made a permanent settlement 
in Kansas at Howard City, Howard county. He edited the Howard City Messenger, and after- 
wards the Elk Falls Journal. Later he became interested in the Chautauqua Journal, which he 
sold to buy the McPherson Freeman. He was married November 17, 1870, to Julia L. Adkins. He 
was elected to the state senate from the McPherson district in 1884 and reelected in 1888. His 
residence to-day is Topeka, where he is engaged in the handling of bonds and securities. 

Note 2.— Chapters 78 and 106, Kansas Statutes of 1875. 

Note 3. — Edward Jaquins was born in Clymer, Chautauqua county. New York, in 1842. He 
settled in Kansas in 1872. He was married in 1876. He was at one time a member of the board 
of supervisors in New York. He represented Howard county in the legislature of 1875, and in 
1897 and 1899 represented Cowley county. 



90 Kansas State Historical Society. 

vene to consider the same. The members of the board were Ed. Hewins,^ 
T. J. Berry, and John Lee ; Berry and the county clerk supposedly in sym- 
pathy with the petitioners for an election. On the day fixed for considera- 
tion of the petition, owing to the absence from the county of Commissioner 
Lee, it was feared that Commissioner Berry and the county clerk might 
canvass the petition and order an election. It was therefore deemed neces' 
sary to secure Berry before the board should assemble, and this was done 
through a promise to place him on the Sedan ticket for the legislature, his 
ambitions in that direction having been well known to the writer and to 
Eli Titus, ^ then sheriff. 

Management of matters for Sedan then in hand devolved upon Eli Titus, 
C. J. Peckham, and the writer, we having decided that, unless Berry could 
be secured, we must prevent a meeting of the board, and to this end, upon 
the arrival of Hewins, in the morning, we had him secrete himself in the 
hay-loft of a little stable on the town site, leaving Berry the only member 
of the board present. Hewins was to be kept secreted until an agreement 
should be concluded with Berry, and with this reached, Hewins was to come 
out of his hiding and, with Berry, to consider the petition for election. The 
agreement with Berry was to the effect that the two sides should present 
their matters and debate and wrangle over the proposition until three or 
four o'clock in the afternoon, when the request of the Sedan managers 
would be granted. With this understanding, it was agreed that Berry should 
act with Hewins in giving the Sedan people thirty days in which to inspect 
the petition for county-seat election before the board should take final ac- 
tion thereon. This was a great disappointment to Peru and the managers 
for county-seat election, but it was the winning card and turning-point for 
Sedan, as during the thirty days copies of names of signers to the petition 
were made, and the friends of Sedan, with pockets full of warranty deeds 
to town lots, made and acknowledged in blank, called upon the petitioners 
and presented to such as could be secured deeds, each, to one or two lots, 
owing to the ice cut by the petitioner, conditioned that the signer there and 
at that time sign a request addressed to the board of county commissioners 
to erase his name from the petition for a county-seat election before mak- 
ing canvass of the petition. 

This work was continued until Sedan town lots were pretty well distributed 

Note 4.— Edwin M. Hewins was born in Loraine county, Ohio, March 22, 1839. His mother 
was Sabra Worcester, a relative of the author of Worcester's Dictionary, and cousin of General 
Harney, the famous Indian fighter. Edwin M. Hewins received a meager education in the com- 
mon schools of Fond du Lac and Appleton, Wis. In 1857, when eighteen years of age, he struck 
out for himself, and settled on a claim in Wabaunsee county, Kansas. He participated in some 
of the territorial excitement, on the free-state 'side, and in 1859 was a prospector in Colorado and 
New Mexico He returned to Kansas in the winter of 1860, and enlisted in the Second Kansas 
cavalry. He was severely wounded at Coon creek, and was honorably mustered out at the close 
of the war. He settled in Shawnee county, and in the spring of 1871 removed to Howard county. 
Governor Crawford made him captain of a militia company for defen.se against the Indians. In 
1876 he was elected a member of the house of representatives. He served again in the house of 
1879, and in the senate of 1885 and 1887. May 22, 1866, he was married to Julia E., a sister of ex- 
United States Senator E, G. Ross. 

Note 5. — Eli Titus was a pioneer stock-raiser and stock dealer in southern Kansa.s. His 
father, Benjamin Titus, was a stock dealer near Galesburg, 111., and his grandfather, Benjamin 
Titus, was a New Jersey soldier in the revolutionary war. Eli Titus was born at Lebanon, Boone 
county, Indiana, July 16, 1846. He received a good business education at Lombard College, Gales- 
burg, III. At the age of seventeen, in 1863, he enlisted as a private in company C, One Hundred 
and Thirty-seventh Illinois, and served to the close of the war. He married, at Connersville, 
Ind., October 4, 1869, Miss Lilly Myers. He settled at Paola, Kan., in 1866, and in 1869 removed to 
Chautauqua county. In 1872 he was elected sheriff of Howard county and served two terms. 
He was a member of the house of representatives in 1883. Some years ago he removed to Kan- 
sas City, Mo. 



Building the Sedan Couj^t-House. 91 

over the country, and enough names taken from the petition to reduce it to 
less than the number required for an election by the time of the meeting of 
the board thirty days later. 

Knowing that defeat of a petition never permanently killed a movement 
for county-seat election, a dozen residents of the county who were opponents 
of a county-seat election met in the shade of a jack-oak tree on the borders 
of the town site, and these, as I now recall the names, were: Eli Titus, Ed. 
Hewins, Ed. Jaquins, Col. Samuel Donaldson, John Lee, C. J. Peckham, L. 
L. Turner,'' J. L. Mattingley, W. W. Jones, Virgil Jones, Jas. Springer, and 
H. B. Kelly, most of whom resided in remote sections of the county. 

The meeting was called to consider the best method and plan for keeping 
down county-seat elections, and this, however, not for pecuniary interest of 
the parties in the town site, but to prevent a recurrence of the strife and 
conditions that had resulted disastrously to Howard county. 

Among the several propositions offered, H. B. Kelly proposed the erection 
of a court-house as the best method of preventing county-seat elections, and 
upon this Eli Titus moved that Kelly build a court-house, and the motion 
carried unanimously; the meeting, without organization, chairman, or secre- 
tary, made no record of its conclusions. With nothing further proposed or 
done, the meeting ended, and all went to their several homes and vocations. 
But Kelly had been charged with building a court-house, and he proceeded 
at once to the work, becoming his own architect, own judge as to size and 
plan of building, method of procedure, extent and conditions of contract. 
The dimensions of the building undertaken were about fifty by sixty feet, 
two stories, and to be built of stone— hammered, dressed, range rock. Five 
offices were provided on the first floor, with two and a court-room on the 
second, and the work undertaken with no person pledged in writing for the 
contribution of a dollar. 

A stone contractor was secured, and an agreement made with him for the 
work, signed by H. B. Kelly and the contractor, but with not a dollar on 
hand to commence or continue the work. A dozen men were soon at work 
laying foundation and carrying up the walls for a court-house, for payment 
of which neither the county nor individuals were obhgated, while very few 
were informed as to plan, probable cost and source from which funds might 
be derived. 

Each of the dozen persons who had been present at the meeting was no- 
tified, and asked for, and paid, a contribution of fifty dollars, which was fol- 
lowed with a later payment of fifty dollars, while from that time until about 
the last of December the building of that court-house and its completion 
kept the writer a very busy man. 

The Sedan convention to nominate county officers was held, a ticket 
made up of Republicans and Democrats was designated "the Sedan or anti- 
county-seat-election ticket." This was soon followed by the opposition 
nominating a ticket pledged to petition an election for county seat. The 
court-house, building through the campaign, was the argument for the Se- 
dan ticket, the campaign having been made upon the proposition of donating 
a court-house to the county. Each candidate on the ticket was assessed fifty 
dollars for court-house purposes, while friends over the county were called on 

Note 6. — Leonidas L. Turner was a member of the first Board of Railroad Commissioners, 
serving from April 1, 1883, to April 1. 1887. 



92 Kansas State Historical Society. 

for contributions, various turns and shifts having been made to raise money 
or its equivalent. If a man had an ox he w^ould sell, he was given a fancy 
price for it, possibly twenty-five per cent, above its value, conditioned that 
he would take a town lot in exchange for it, or a town-company note, the 
ox then turned to payment for labor or material. Wheat was bought at 
more than railroad prices, paid for in town lots or town-company notes, 
while, among the several sawmills in the county, native lumber, used for 
joisting and studding, was purchased in the same way and upon like con- 
dition. Men wanting work, either hauling from Independence or hauling 
stone or lumber, were employed, and paid in part in the same way, with the 
result that in the various and remote parts of the county men were engaged 
in work on the court-house, and, having thus acquired an interest in the 
town site and the success of Sedan, became advocates for the election in 
their several localities of the Sedan ticket. 

Prompt payment every Saturday to the dozen men at work on the build- 
ing was an important matter, and the coming of Satui'day with no cash was 
a trying time for the writer. However, he would call in turn on the little 
stores or the saloon for a loan, these having proven of most valuable assist- 
ance. Saturday noon the contractor would start hunting Kelly and Kelly 
would start for a loan. But he never told the person from whom he obtained 
the loan for what purpose the money was wanted. The lender might guess, 
but I feared that telling in the early stages of the work that I was borrow- 
ing to pay for work on the court-house, the enterprise would be regarded a 
failure and the loan requested could not be had. From the saloon I would 
borrow possibly fifty dollars, to be returned the middle of the next week, 
and then would bestir myself to collect in something, or secure a new sub- 
scriber to the fund, when I would promptly pay back the money borrowed. 
If I failed to realize it from a new source, I would go to one of the stores 
and borrow and pay the saloon, and when collections were quite slow, as 
they usually were, I would go to the other store and borrow to pay the first 
store; and so, for a period of three months, I took turns borrowing in one 
place to pay in another, stirring up candidates and friends of the movement, 
and paying big prices for anything I could turn, to realize upon, in some 
way. I did not permit work to stop, but kept it moving, and through a 
fierce campaign the court-house building proved the strong card for the 
Sedan cause. The election resulted in victory for the Sedan ticket by 100 
to 200 majority, the battle having been won, though, with the court-house 
still incomplete. The walls were, however, complete, the joisting and stud- 
ding all in, and the window- and door-frames in, but the roofing was un- 
touched. 

I submitted a proposition for roofing the building, designating the kind of 
roof to be put on, to two firms of carpenters who had located on the town 
site, their bids having been something like $1100 or $1200 each, for furnish- 
ing everything and putting on the roof. But, as there was no such money 
at my command, I rejected the bids, and, driving to Independence, employed 
a carpenter for a day, who went with me into the attic and inspected the 
roof of the Caldwell hotel, as the model by which to be guided. A plan of 
the roof was drawn, with each principal piece of lumber used therein, and 
this we took to a lumber-yard, where I bought the bill of lumber from the 
carpenter's draft, showing the exact pieces necessary— bought enough and 



Building the Sedan Court-House. 93 

no more— freighted the material to Sedan in wagons, hired workmen by the 
day, and, using walnut shingles, put the roof on complete for something like 
$500. 

The structure, then a building, good from foundation to roof, with walls, 
joisting, studding, window- and door-frames in, and roof on, was accepted 
by a friendly board of county commissioners as a building erected, fully 
satisfactory to the commissioners, who under the law were prevented from 
levying a tax for the ' ' erection " of a court-house costing more than $1000. 
They accepted the Sedan structure as a building, and made a tax levy suffi- 
cient to complete the court-house, upon conveying the building with a block 
of ground to the county. The cost of the building paid as indicated in the 
foregoing was about $4000— possibly a little more; a sum which now appears 
insignificant. But the labor was secured cheaply, there were no leakages, 
and no chance for leakages, as there was never any accumulation to leak, 
and no hole for it to leak through. The raising of that amount of money 
at that time in a new community where $100 or $200 in cash made the pos- 
sessor a capitalist, for a town forty miles from a railroad, was an under- 
taking fraught with no little difficulty. Not a candidate, and not a prospective 
political candidate, during the period between the commencement of the court- 
house and election, was eager to announce his personal connection with it; 
in fact, he avoided that, as, in the event of failure, defeat of the Sedan ticket, 
and stoppage of work on the court-house, the opponents of Sedan prophe- 
sied that the stone pile in Sedan would be pointed out as a monument to 
Kelly's folly. 

But the court-house was a success and the Sedan ticket was a winner; 
victory reached through a period of trial and tribulation, untiring work by 
day and sleepless nights for the writer, as during the time of building the 
court-house he was editing his paper in the interest of the ticket, par- 
ticipating in campaigning, speaking at nights in the various schoolhouses of 
the county, and in addition to this locating newcomers on lots of the town 
company— lots donated to those who would build and become residents of 
Sedan. 

It is now thirty years since the board of county commissioners accepted 
the Sedan court-house and that building is still the Chautauqua county court- 
house; not imposing, not commodious, and not changed, it stands and has 
stood, answering every purpose^ and that, too, practically without cost to the 
county, having served the purpose for which it was intended, namely, pre- 
vention of county-seat contests. Chautauqua county has never had a county- 
seat election, never issued a bond for a court-house, nor made a tax levy 
therefor to any considerable amount, save such as was necessary for the 
completion of the building donated. 

Of the group of twelve who met in the shade of the jack oak in August, 
1875, Colonel Donaldson, Eli Titus, Ed. Hewins, and John Lee, all strong men 
in their day, are dead. 

Among those who met and decided for a court-house not one had a per- 
sonal interest in the town site, but were interested only in having a county 
free from the strife and turmoil of county-seat contests. 

Briefly, this is the story of the building of the Sedan court-house. 



94 Kansas State Historical Society. 



THE KANSAS OIL PRODUCERS AGAINST THE 
STANDARD OIL COMPANY. 

An address by William E. Connelley,' delivered before the Kansas State Historical Society, 
at its thirtieth annual meeting, December, 5, 1905. 

I ENGAGED in the business of oil production at Chanute, Kan., in August, 
1903. I became interested in holdings in Neosho, Allen and Chautauqua 
counties. During the summer of 1904 prices of crude oils declined rapidly, 
and the pi-oducers of crude petroleum in Kansas came to believe that the 
depression then created in their business was caused by the action of the 
Standard Oil Company. Many of the producers were confronted by ruin, all 
of them by heavy loss. As the Standard Oil Company appeared to be en- 
trenched behind legal forms no remedy existed. The oil producers were not 
organized. What seemed a promising organization was effected about 
August. A meeting was held in Independence and one at Chanute; but the 
Standard Oil Company had great influence in both towns, and the movement 
commenced by these meetings for the organization of the general field 
amounted to nothing. Chanute maintained a strong and aggressive local oil 
producers' association. The feeling that some remedy for the existing evils 
could and would be found was wide-spread in the state. In his message to 
the legislature Gov. E. W. Hoch gave official expression to this feeling, and 
he recommended that some adequate remedy be devised by the legislature. 
On Thursday, January 12, 1905, I was in Peru, Kan., with J. O. Fife, 
attending to a business matter. It was a cold day. A deep snow had fallen 
the night of the 11th, and on this snow there was a thick crust of sleet. It 
was with difficulty that our team broke the road from Peru to Sedan, but 
the trip was finally made. Hoping to find the south road in better condition, 
we returned to Peru by the route that leads by the Huffman pool, a rich oil- 
field, but we found nc person had driven over that road, and we had to break 
the way from Sedan to Peru. Upon our return to Peru we went to the oflfice 
of H. E. West, where the Kansas City daily papers were found. They con- 
tained Governor Hoch's message, which was read with great interest by 
every one. It created much discussion, during which it was suggested that 
we begin then and there to form some organization embracing all the pro- 
ducers of crude oil in Kansas; this body to seek to accomplish the purposes 
deemed necessary to preserve the oil industry of the state. After mature 
deliberation upon the matter, Mr. West decided to call together in his office, 
at eight o'clock that evening, all the oil producers in the vicinity of Peru. 
Some eight or ten producers responded to the call. They formed the Chau- 
tauqua County Oil Producers' Association, and the newly formed body de- 
cided to issue a call for a meeting of the oil producers of the entire oil-field. 
I was requested to prepare the call. I went into a room apart from the one 
in which the meeting was in progress; there I wrote the following, which 

Note 1. — Author of The Provisional Government of Nebraska Territory ; John Brown ; James 
H. Lane ; Wyandot Folk-lore ; Kansas Territorial Governors ; An Appeal to the Record ; Over- 
land Stage to California (with Frank A. Root) ; Memoirs of John J. Ingalls ; The Heckewelder 
Narrative ; Doniphan's Expedition ( in prer)aration ). For biographical sketch of Mr. Connelley, 
see Kansas Historical Collections, vol. 7, p. 486. 



Kansas Oil Producers^ First Fight. 95 

was adopted without change, though the 19th was substituted for the 24th 
as the day for the meeting: 

"Peru, Kan., January 12, 1905. 

"The Chautauqua County Oil Producers' Association read with pleasure 
the message of Governor Hoch to the legislature. He does not disappoint 
us, but proves the true friend of Kansas and of every industry vital to her 
interest and prosperity. We congratulate the producers of petroleum upon 
the position and stand of Governor Hoch. And we also congratulate them 
upon the election by the people of a legislature of good business men, de- 
termined to do everything possible to foster, preserve and develop the re- 
sources—all the resources— of the great state of Kansas. And while Kansas 
has surprised the world by her marvelous growth of corn, wheat, cattle, and 
other agricultural and live-stock products, and by her production of lead, 
salt, and other mineral resources, she now bids fair to become the greatest 
producer of crude petroleum in America. This being true, it is but just 
that the people of Kansas should enjoy the results and profits of this 
valuable resource. It is particularly gratifying that Governor Hoch is of 
this opinion, and that he believes that the people should not be robbed of 
these profits by monopoly and the unjust methods which have proven so disas- 
trous to this particular industry in other states. 

"Realizing that the petroleum interests of Kansas are of enormous pro- 
portions and capable of indefinite extension, and that they extend over 
several counties of the state and require the consideration and careful at- 
tention of every person interested therein, this association desires to assist 
in devising ways and means to enable the people to realize the hopes ex- 
pressed by Governor Hoch. To this end this association deems it a duty to 
request every producer of crude petroleum in Kansas, and every one inter- 
ested therein, to be present at a general and fraternal meeting which it 
hereby calls for Thursday, the 19th day of January, 1905, in the Throop 
hotel, Topeka, Kan., at eleven o'clock A. M., to discuss the present condi- 
tions and future prospects of the petroleum industry of this state, and to 
take such united action as may then and there be believed proper and nec- 
essary. The Chautauqua County Oil Producers' Association. 

By H. E. WEST, President." 

Copies of this call were coming from the press in Peru the following day, 
before I left for my home in Chanute. At that time plans for the Topeka 
meeting were not discussed, for there was no certainty that it would have 
a fair attendance, and until it was known that the producers would be 
present in respectable number it was thought to be idle to make plans. 
The call was sent broadcast. The Chautauqua county association, of which 
I was a charter member, did little the week following the formulation 
of the call but solicit attendance upon the Topeka meeting. The response 
of the producers was sudden and enthusiastic, and we could see that 
the meeting would be a success. A special train was provided to carry 
the producers to Topeka, and it was crowded. Every part of the Kan- 
sas oil-field was represented. The day preceding the meeting was stormy, 
and when the train arrived in Topeka, at dark, snow was falling. The 
Hotel Throop was soon filled to overflowing, and Mr. West saw that the 
meeting would have to be in some hall, if all the producers were to be 
present, for there was no room in the hotel large enough to hold them. 
The audience chamber of the Topeka Commercial Club was engaged for 
the meeting on the 19th. On the night of the 18th a meeting was held 
in the parlors of the hotel at which the question concerning the union 
of producers of oil and those of natural gas in the proposed movement 
was discussed. The oil producers thought it best not to join the two inter- 
ests, but the producers of gas were anxious to have the organization to be 



96 Kansas State Historical Society. 

formed care for the interests of the producers of both oil and gas ; on this 
subject no agreement was reached in the meeting, although the question 
engrossed the attention of every one present for the remainder of the even- 
ing. Matters were in a chaotic condition. A large attendance had been 
secured and the producers were enthusiastic ; but there seemed a lack of 
leadership, and no one had any plan for even the meeting to be held on the 
19th. Plans for handling the general situation were almost as numerous as 
the producers present. The indications were that a plan would have to be 
evolved after long discussion of the numerous ones presented. I knew this 
course was fraught with danger and likely to develop dangerous and irre- 
concilable differences. There was some unanimity as to what we would 
have done, but none as to how to make intelligent effort to secure the ends 
desired. I retired at eleven o'clock, and at that time there was nothing 
definite determined for the coming meeting except that Mr. West would 
preside over its deliberations. 

On the morning of the 19th, I went early into the writing-room of the 
hotel and sat down at a small desk and wrote nine resolutions. During the 
night I had studied the whole movement carefully and reflected upon the 
expressions of the oil producers gathered in the hotel lobby. I had arrived 
at a conclusion as to what should be done at the meeting, and these resolu- 
tions embodied that conclusion. Some of the resolutions were in effect the 
same that I had helped prepare for our Chanute association. In forming 
the other resolutions I had not even a suggestion from any one. I finished 
writing the resolutions just as the hotel lobby began to fill, and at the same 
time the operator of a typewriter came in and took her seat at a machine 
on a small desk across the door from me. I had her make half a dozen 
copies of the resolution. While talking to her, R. C. Rawlings, of Chanute, 
came in with a resolution expressing the gratitude of the producers to 
Governor Hoch. I had prepared a similar resolution, but as that of Mr. 
Rawlings was better than mine I asked leave to use it, which he readily 
granted. The copies were finished about ten o'clock. I had not seen Mr. 
West up to that time that morning, nor had I talked with any of the principal 
producers that day. 

I took my resolutions directly from the typewriter to the room of 
Mr. West. There I found Mr. West, J. H. McBride, Charles Noble, and 
also M. L. Lockwood, who was writing a resolution covering the rate 
question. These gentlemen were discussing the situation, in an effort to 
mark out a course to be pursued in the meeting, but nothing definite had 
been concluded. I presented my resolutions and went over them carefully. 
They agreed that I had covered the situation and pronounced the resolutions 
satisfactory. I handed them to Mr. West and started to go out, but he 
called me back and requested me to submit the resolutions to the meeting, 
which I agreed to do. And then we started to the hall where the meeting 
was to be held. 

When we left the hotel to go to the meeting, we found the day clear 
and bright, and many remarked that it was a good omen. The meeting was 
called to order by Mr. West as soon as we arrived at the chamber, and he, 
as chairman, read a long paper, with which he was not satisfied. Then 
J. M. Parker, of Independence, was elected secretary of the meeting. 



Kansas Oil Producers* First Fight 97 

Mr. West asked what was the further pleasure of the meeting. I offered 
the first of my resolutions, as follows: 

"Resolved, That this organization become a permanent body, to be 
knowTi as the Kansas Oil Producers' Association, and that it be extended by 
the admission to membership of any person engaged in the production of 
crude oil in Kansas." 

I moved the adoption of the resolution, and it was adopted without dis- 
cussion. Then I read my second resolution, which follows: 

"Resolved, That the president shall, upon the adjournment of this meet- 
ing, appoint four members, who, together with himself, shall constitute the 
executive committee of this association, which said executive committee 
shall be the executive and administrative power and authority of the asso- 
ciation until the first annual election, which shall be provided for by said 
executive committee. Such executive committee shall appoint such other 
committees— legislative and others— as it may deem necessary. Said ex- 
ecutive committee shall devise ways and means to raise such funds as may 
be required to meet the expenses of the association, and shall appoint a 
treasurer to receive and disburse the same upon its order. ' ' 

This was the most important resolution I had prepared. It constituted 
a scheme of government for the association and provided for every contin- 
gency which I could foresee. It was, in fact, the embodiment of all the 
meeting was called to accomplish, and I was anxious to know how the pro- 
ducers would receive it. There was no discussion after I moved the adop- 
tion of the resolution, and it passed by a unanimous vote. I was much 
pleased, for I then knew there would be no wrangling, no disagreement, no 
dissatisfaction, and that the meeting would be harmonious; and I then be- 
lieved that the ends for which we were organizing to labor would be fully 
accomplished. I felt that an organization was effected which would be a 
power for good in Kansas. 

At the request of Mr. H. B. Kelly, I read the remaining resolutions at 
once and moved their adoption together. They were as follows: 

"Resolved, That it is the sense of this association that the state of Kan- 
sas ought to erect and maintain a refinery for oil, of the capacity of at least 
5000 barrels daily. ' ' 

"Resolved, That it is the sense of this association that a law should be 
enacted by the present legislature making all pipe-lines now built and those 
to be constructed in the future for the transportation of oil common car- 
riers, subject to all the laws, duties and obligations of the same, and that 
said lines be regulated in all matters by some competent authority, to be 
designated by the legislature." 

"Resolved, That it is the sense of this association that the legislature 
ought to protect the industries of this state by a law providing heavy penal- 
ties for its violation, and which should prohibit any dealer, owner or manu- 
facturer from selling his products at a lower price in one portion of the 
state than in another portion thereof, all items of cost considered, thereby 
ci-eating a monopoly and destroying competition in manufacture, trade, and 
commerce. ' ' 

"Resolved, That it is the sense of this association that the present legis- 
lature should by law provide for transportation rates and charges by rail- 
roads and pipe-lines that will enable the producers of oil in this state to sell 
their product in any portion thereof at a fair profit for fuel and other pur- 
poses. " 

' 'Resolved, That it is the sense of this association that the present legis- 
lature should provide a competent board of inspection, to be supported by 
reasonable fees collected for services performed, to protect the resources of 

-7 



98 Ka'iisas State Historical Society. 

the state by the proper action concerning dry, abandoned, imperfect, ex- 
hausted or dangerous oil- or gas-wells. Also for the inspection and proper 
grading of the crude oil produced in the state, and having authority to act 
upon the appeal of producers or purchasei-s in case of dispute." 

''Resolved, That it is the sense of the Kansas oil producers, in convention 
assembled, that the action of Governor Hoch in recommending such legisla- 
tion as will protect the Kansas producers of crude petroleum and the refiners 
of the same from the crushing and throttling grasp of monopolistic influ- 
ences is most heartily and sincerely commended as the act of a man to whom 
the interests and welfare of the people of this state are very dear; and we 
furthermore thank him from our innermost hearts for his manly actions and 
his mode of encouragement to the oil producers of the state." 

"Resolved, That the thanks of this association be tendered all the mem- 
bers of the present legislature for the manifest disposition shown to pre- 
serve and foster the oil industries of Kansas. ' ' 

The resolutions were adopted after very little discussion. The last reso- 
lution is changed a little from the form in which I put it, as I had tendered 
the thanks of the association to Senators Porter and Waggener only, for the 
introduction of bills in the interest of the oil producers. It was believed 
best to include all the members of the legislature. No other changes were 
made in the resolutions. 

Within an hour after President West inquired the pleasure of the meet- 
ing the work for which the oil producers had assembled was fully accom- 
plished, and there had been scarcely five minutes' discussion of the resolutions 
offered. A gentleman from Nebraska, whom no one present knew, but who 
was suspected of being an agent of the Standard Oil Company in disguise, 
wanted the membership to include consumers of oil, as well as producers, 
but he met with little encouragement. So rapidly and with so little friction 
had the work been done that all were surprised to find there was really 
nothing else to do. Mr. S. H. Whisner, of Wyandotte county, moved that 
a committee on constitution and by-laws be appointed, and this he moved 
after the adoption of all resolutions. It was explained to him that the meet- 
ing had passed that stage, and that the purpose supposed to be served by a 
constitution and by-laws had been provided for in the second resolution. On 
motion of Mr. Rawlings, of Chanute, a tax of fifty cents per month on each 
producing oil-well was levied to meet the expenses of the association, and the 
meeting adjourned for dinner with practically all of its work done and objects 
accomplished. 

At the afternoon meeting President West announced the names of the 
four members appointed by him on the executive committee. They were L. 
H. Perkins, of Lawrence; Senator S. J. Stewart, of Humboldt (not a mem- 
ber of that legislature); J. M. Parker, of Independence; and J. 0. Fife, for 
Chanute, though he lived in Wyandotte county. The committee was a good 
one. It organized by the election of H. E. West, president; J. 0. Fife, vice- 
president; J. M. Parker, secretary and treasurer. 

Mr. West assumed the real work of the committee. It is safe to say 
that no man was ever more faithful to a trust, nor was one ever more de- 
voted to a cause; and it is safe to say, also, that no man ever did more 
effective work. He directed a campaign to secure the cooperation of the 
people of Kansas in his efforts to secure legislation along the lines laid 
down in the resolutions, and it was not long until the whole state was 
aroused. Petitions and letters poured in upon the legislature from every 
quarter. The newspapers took up the work. Public gatherings passed 



Kansas Oil Producers' First Fight. 99 

resolutions. There was an uprising such as can occur nowhere but in Kan- 
sas. It spread to other states. lUinois offered to loan Kansas the money 
to build the state refinery. The whole country was aroused. Co^igress or- 
dered an investigation of conditions existing in the oil-fields. The action of 
the state in rebelling against the greatest and wickedest corporation on 
earth, when older and richer states had submitted to its arrogance for years 
without protest, was applauded throughout the land. Kansas was praised 
for her courage. Her rebellion against slavery and its destruction through 
her eflforts were often mentioned, and the hope was expressed that her re- 
markable rebellion against trusts would lead to their regulation and control 
in this country. The Standard Oil Company tried to stay the rising tide by 
sending its representatives to Topeka to use methods so often effective in 
other places and by employing a great number of "attorneys" and hang- 
ers-on about legislatures, but these were swept out of the state and out of 
service immediately, to appear no more around the state-house, so fierce 
was the sentiment against them. And for all these things President West 
was largely responsible. He surprised everybody by his executive ability 
and his power to organize and influence men. Often he worked twenty 
hours out of the twenty-four, and was always sanguine of success. 

The accomplishments of the association were truly remarkable. The 
third, fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh resolutions were in effect requests for 
the enactment of laws. Of these five requests, four were complied with by 
the legislature. They are as follows : 

The third resolution requested the state to erect and maintain an oil re- 
finery capable of handling 5000 barrels of crude oil daily. The law as passed 
made the daily capacity of the refinery 1000 barrels. This law was declared 
by the state supreme court to be in conflict with the constitution of Kansas. ^ 

The fourth resolution requested a law declaring pipe-lines for the trans- 
portation of oil common carriers, subject to all the restrictions applicable to 
common carriers; and a common-carrier law was passed and is now a Kan- 
sas statute.^ 

The fifth resolution requested a law prohibiting any corporation or person 
from underselling a competitor, to ruin him, and at the same time sell the 
same product at a higher price in another community. A law known as the 
antidiscrimination law was passed in compliance with this request. It is 
now on the statute-book, and is one of the best laws ever enacted by any 
state. Under its provisions a number of independent refineries are in op- 
eration in the state. It is estimated that more than a million dollars have 
been invested in Kansas refineries by residents of other states as a result 
of the enactment of this law less than one year ago. And it has made the 
price of oil uniform in the state. It is safe to say that this law has already 
saved the people of Kansas ten million dollars, for it applies to all manu- 
factured articles and not alone to refined oil.^ 

The sixth resolution requested the enactment of a law placing a maximum 

Note 2.— There were appropriated the following sums for the construction, maintenance, 
etc., of the Penitentiary and Oil Refinery : Ten thousand dollars for provision of suitable quar- 
ters, feeding, guarding, etc., of convicts employed in its construction; $200,000 for construction 
and equipment ; and $200,000 as a " revolving fund " for the operation of the plant. ( Session 
Laws of 1905, eh. 478, p. 783.) Declared unconstitutional by the supreme court July 7, 1905, 
Justice A. L. Greene writing the opinion. 

Note 3.— Session Laws of 1905, ch. 315. p. 526. 

Note 4.— Id., ch. 2, p. 2. 



100 Kansas State Historical Society. 

rate for freight charges on the shipment of oil by railroads. The law was 
enacted, and under its operation a large business is being built up in various 
parts of the state in the establishment of fuel-oil stations. The fuel- oil 
dealers purchase their oil from the Kansas oil producers. Before the enact- 
ment of this law the freight rates on crude oil in Kansas were prohibitive."' 

The seventh resolution requested a board for the supervision and protec- 
tion of the oil-fields from damage from neglected and abandoned wells, and 
to supervise the inspection and grading of crude oil. It should have been 
passed. It is supposed that there would have been little opposition to a 
proper bill of that nature; but the time of the legislature is limited by law, 
and in the labor of shaping and passing the other bills deemed of more im- 
portance this bill had to be neglected and was not passed, though it is con- 
fidently expected that the next legislature will enact a law along the lines 
marked out by the resolution. 

The result of the formation of the association and its efforts was the 
enactment of four laws out of five which were requested— a result never be- 
fore equaled in Kansas, and, so far as we know, never equaled in any other 
state; and, as said before, this remarkable record was largely due to the 
sound judgment and untiring energy of President West. His selection for 
the head of the association was the most fortunate that could have been 
made. He had the undivided support of the other members of the executive 
committee, all able men, and in their respective positions did splendid work. 
Everybody worked— worked to full capacity, and in unison with every other 
worker. 

We must not forget the legislature in this brief review, for it is entitled 
to honorable mention always. In ability, as a body, it ranked far above 
the average legislature. It was patriotic, square, and honest. It realized 
that it had been elected to labor for the welfare of Kansas, and it rose to 
the occasion and did its duty. It was not elected on the issues put before it 
by the oil producers, but it responded nobly to what it saw was the right of 
the matter. It was a clean, honorable body, bent on doing the right thing. 
It was a business body, careful of its reputation, for there were no grafts 
nor scandals. I said, in a communication to a Chanute newspaper, that no 
other legislature had ever been given the opportunity in Kansas which now 
came to this one, and if it responded intelligently it would be the most illus- 
trious that ever met in any state. That estimate may have been too high, 
though I doubt it. It must be admitted that the Kansas legislature of 1905 
stood for a square deal, and against graft, boodle, trusts, and other forms 
of oppression of the people. 

The oil men saw with satisfaction many of the ablest men in the legisla- 
ture come to their aid and labor especially in their interest, without expecta- 
tion of fee or reward. Where all the friends of the oil producers did so well, 
it is difficult justly to make special mention. In the senate, W. S. Fitzpat- 
rick and F. D. Smith were untiring in their efforts, but none worked harder 
nor with better judgment than Senator James F. Getty, of Wyandotte 
county. His course was an agreeable surprise to the oil producers. He was 
a new man in the public affairs of Kansas, and it was not known how he 
would regard the questions presented by the oil men. He voluntarily es- 
poused their cause, for the sole reason that he believed it the right thing to 

Note 5.— Session Laws of 1905, ch. 315. sees. 3, 4, p. 536. 



The History of the Desert. 101 

do, and he stood for their requests with marked abihty. Many other sena- 
tors did the same, and scores of house members could be named who fought 
valiantly for the measures proposed by the producers. 

Governor Hoch was a host within himself. His position on these ques- 
tions, so vigorously urged in his splendid message, made it possible for the 
association to be formed. Without his official expression in favor of the oil 
producers of Kansas we could not have organized the association, nor could 
we have secured the cooperation of the people of Kansas. In any move- 
ment for the rights of the people it is imperative that some strong man 
stand boldly forth as their champion in the beginning. Governor Hoch's 
defiant challenge to the Standard Oil Company rang like a trumpet blast, 
and was our rallying-cry. He sprang at once into national prominence be- 
cause of his fearlessness, his ability, his courageous stand for the people, 
and for his uncompromising hostility to trusts. At home he became the 
idol of his people. 

The laws enacted at the instance of the Kansas oil producers have been 
on the statute-books less than a year at this writing, but the good effects 
of them all are already visible in many directions. These good effects will 
increase enormously in the near future. 

The fight started by the oil producers here has spread to many states. 
Kansas blazed the way, as she always does when a great movement for the 
rights of the people is to be inaugurated. Under the leadership of Governor 
Hoch the people carried their cause to the legislature, which, by its re- 
sponse, became the most remarkable that ever assembled in any state, and 
became illustrious in being the first to make a stalwart stand against the 
further encroachments of monopolistic greed. 



THE HISTORY OF THE DESERT. 

An address by Frank W. Blackmar,' delivered before the Kansas State Historical Society, 
at its thirtieth annual meeting, December 5, 1905. 

THE theory of a great American desert stretching over boundless wastes 
in the interior of the continent has been one of the most persistent ideas 
in the historical development of our nation. Based upon the meager facts 
obtainable by indirect methods, this theory has been, largely, the product of the 
vivid imagination of writers who felt and travelers and explorers who suffered. 
Philosophers, historians and scientists have contributed to the dream and ihe 
statesman has ever been prone to concede what he considered the inevitable. 
And quite naturally enough it came about, for they had no method of know- 
ing the actual resources of the country and no conception of the methods to 
be employed in its conquest. True it is, also, that, compared with the fertile 
valleys and wooded districts east of the Mississippi, the great inland basin 
has been to all ordinary purposes a veritable desert, for it failed to give up 

Note 1.— Frank Wilson Blackmar was born November 3, 1854. at Springfield. Pa. He 
graduated from the University of the Pacific in 1881, A. M.. 1884 ; Ph. D., Johns Hopkins. 1889 : 
professor of mathematics. University of the Pacific. 1882-'86 : graduate student Johns Hopkins. 
1886-'89 ; fellow in history and politics, 1888-'89 ; professor of history and sociology, University of 
Kansas, since 1889 ; president Kansas conference charities and corrections, 1900-'02. He is author 
of Federal and State Aid to Higher Education in the United States, 1890; Spanish Colonization, 
1890 ; Spanish Institutions in the Southwest, 1891 ; The Study of History and Sociology, 1890 ; 
The Story of Human Progress, 1896 : Economics, 1900 : History of Higher Education in Kansas, 
1900 : Charles Robinson, the Free-state Governor of Kansas, 1900 ; Life of Charles Robinson, the 
First Governor of Kansas, 1902 ; The Elements of Sociology, 1905. 



102 Kansas State Historical Society. 

its treasures and to submit to civilization in ways similar to the more favor- 
able districts of the Mississippi valley and the Atlantic seaboard. And so the 
terrors of this terra incognita have been magnified and its worthlessness 
proclaimed. 

Gradually, however, myth has given way to fact, just as trapper and 
explorer have given place to the bona Jide settler ; the pony express and 
the prairie-schooner to the railroad ; and the land has ceased to be considered 
a mere highway by the shortest trails to the Pacific slope, and has become 
a habitable land, whose mineral and agricultural resources are to be de- 
veloped—a land whose face is dotted with beautiful towns and cities and 
pleasant homes. In the great drama of settlement, while the world was 
thinking and dreaming of the dreary wastes of land and creating the myth 
of the desert, the hardy pioneer was setting his stakes farther westward 
and enlarging the boundaries of civilization. It was a strenuous life, 
marked by self-denial, hardship, and toil, frequently of disappointment and 
regret. Frequently romance and tragedy existed side by side. For it must 
be, in the mastery of nature, that a large number of people should live on 
the margin of culture, preparing the way for others who may enjoy the 
blessings of civilization thus made possible. So, in the settlement of the 
West, statesman, historian, scientific explorer and the prophet of human 
destiny were thrust aside by the adventurous spirit who took his life in his 
hands and went out to meet and conquer the difficulties of an unknown land. 
It was the pioneer who demonstrated the possibilities of the country and 
made known its characteristics and advantages, and who really mastered the 
territory. 

Perhaps the first suggestion of the myth of the desert came from Thomas 
Jefferson, who thought that the great inland territory west of the Mississippi 
would be of comparatively little value to the United States. In the purchase 
of Louisiana he seemed to be thinking only of a strip of land which would 
protect our Western frontier, rather than of a great territory to be filled 
with a teeming population. But there was no real knowledge of this country 
at the time of Jefferson. It was a boundless territory, unknown as to soil, 
climate, and possibiHties of civilization. It appears that the explorations of 
the Spaniards in the interior and on the Pacific coast were little known by 
the inhabitants of the Atlantic seaports. And so for years afterwards, 
through conjecture, various reports of travelers, and the flight of imagina- 
tion, this territory came to be known as "The Great American Desert." 
It was like the myth of the great northwestern passage to India, which the 
explorers sought at Panama, and chased, with varying success, further and 
further to the northwest, until finally it ended in a passage from the Pacific 
ocean into the Arctic, known as Behring strait. And so, in history and 
vision, the Great American Desert was created, but it has gradually disap- 
peared from the maps, and likewise from the minds of the people, as they 
slowly realized the facts of settlement. 

The real foundation of this myth was perhaps laid in the expedition of 
Zebulon M. Pike, who crossed the plains to the Rocky Mountains in 1805 
to 1807. It is true that the famous expedition of Lewis and Clark had 
given something of the vastness of the territory, but, as they kept very 
close to the Missouri and Columbia, they could give very little of the possi- 
bilities of the country. Their reports, too, seemed to have for their ob- 
jective point the Oregon territory, rather than any explicit descriptions of 



The History of the Desert. 103 

the lands between it and the Mississippi. But Pike's expedition gave some 
statements in regard to the territory which were taken as a matter of fact, 
and which characterized for more than half a century this great interior of 
the continent. Speaking of the fertility of the soil, he says: "From the 
Missouri to the head waters of the (Little) Osage river, a distance, in a 
straight line, of probably 300 miles, the country will admit of a numerous, 
extensive and compact population. Thence, on the rivers Kansas, La Platte, 
Arkansas and their various tributaries it appears to me to be only possible 
to introduce a limited population on their banks." (Coues, vol. II, p. 523.) 
This limits the fertile territory to the boundaries of the state of Missouri 
and a small part of eastern Kansas, and counts the rest of the territory 
capable of only a sparse settlement. 

Again, he says, in characterizing this territory: "These vast plains of 
the western hemisphere may become in time as celebrated as the sandy 
deserts of Africa, for I saw, in my route in various places, tracts of many 
leagues where the wind had thrown up the sand in all the fanciful forms of 
the ocean's rolling wave, and on which not a speck of vegetable matter ex- 
isted." (Coues, vol. II, p. 525.) And in his conclusion he states: "But 
from the immense prairies there arises one advantage to the United States, 
viz., the restriction of our population to some certain limits, and thereby a 
continuance of the Union. Our citizens being so prone to rambling and ex- 
tending themselves on the frontier will, through necessity, be constrained to 
limit their extent on the west to the boundaries of the Missouri and the 
Mississippi, while they leave the prairies incapable of cultivation to the 
wandering and uncivilized aborigines of the country." (Coues, vol. II, p. 
525.) There is in this statement a hint of the material welfare of the nation 
in the prevention of the too rapid exploration of a country and the practice 
of extensive agriculture to the neglect of intensive agriculture. 

Long's expedition of 1819 and 1820 rather emphasizes this characteriza- 
tion given by Pike. In speaking of the country east of the meridian which 
passes through Council Bluffs, he asserts that it will support a high population, 
but that "the scarcity of timber, mill sites, and sources of water, difficul- 
ties that are almost uniformly prevalent, must for a long time prove serious 
impediments in the settling of the country. Large tracts are often to be met 
with exhibiting scarcely any trace of vegetation." When it is observed 
that within this territory we have now the northern part of Missouri, the 
fertile state of Iowa, and a large part of the grain belts of Minnesota, it is 
easy to realize that the possibilities of the country were unthought of by the 
chronicler. Of the country west of this meridian the report states : "In re- 
gard to this extensive section of the countiy, we do not hesitate in giving the 
opinion that it is almost wholly unfit for cultivation, and, of course, uninhab- 
itable by people depending upon agriculture for their subsistence. " ( Long's 
Expedition, vol. II, p. 361.) 

But, having taken this melancholy view of the land, he finally discovers 
that this vast territory may be of some use to the United States, and he 
reiterates the opinions of JeflFerson and Pike in the following paragraph: 

"This region, viewed as a frontier, may prove of infinite importance to 
the United States, inasmuch as it is calculated to serve as a barrier to pre- 
vent too great an extension of our population westward, and secure us against 
the machinations of an enemy that might otherwise be disposed to annoy us 
in that quarter." (Long, vol. II, p. 361.) 



104 Ka)isas State Historical Society. 

He closes by saying: "From the minute account given in the narrative 
of the particular features of this expedition, it will be perceived to be a 
manifest resemblance to the deserts of Siberia." In this he refers to the 
whole distance to the Rocky Mountains. 

Now come the first reports of the territory beyond, in which the bounda- 
ries of the desert are extended to the Pacific coast. He says, in speaking 
of the country beyond the Rocky Mountains: "It is a region destined, by 
the bai-renness of its soil, the inhospitable character of its climate and by 
other physical defects to be the abode of perpetual desolation." 

These two government explorers laid the foundation for the discussion of 
the subject in future years, and set some limits to the thought and imagina- 
tion of the people. So we find, thereafter for a period of fifty years, in the 
school geographies and atlases and in other descriptions of the country, a 
representation of the Great American Desert. Woodbridge and Willard 
published a geography for schools in 1824, in which they reflected the state- 
ments of Long and Pike, except that they mention that the soil between 
the Missouri and Mississippi is very fertile, but that, lacking in water and 
timber, settlement would be impeded. They seem to have discovered some- 
where south of the Missouri, and extending to the Red river, a swamp 200 
miles in length and five to thirty in width. For the benefit of the youth of 
our schools, they go on to give a full description of the country, a part of 
which may be stated as follows: 

' * From longitude 96, or the meridian of Council Bluffs, to the Chippewain 
mountains, is a desert region of 400 miles in length and breadth, or about 
1600 miles in extent. ... On approaching within 100 miles of the Rocky 
Mountains the snow-capped summits become visible. Here the hills become 
more frequent, and elevated rocks more abundant, and the soil more sterile, 
until we reach the abrupt chain of peaks which divide it from the western 
declivities of North America. Not a thousandth part can be said to have 
any timber growth, and the surface is generally naked. . . . The pre- 
dominant soil of this region is a sterile sand, and large tracts are often to be 
met with which exhibit scarcely a trace of vegetation. The salts and mag- 
nesia mingled with the soil are often so abundant as to destroy vegetation. 
The waters are, to a great extent, impure, and frequently too brackish for 
use. . . . The valley of the Canadian river is covered to a great extent 
with salt incrustations, resembling ice or snow in its appearance. The waters 
of this river are so impregnated with salt as to be unfit for use, and this is the 
case with other tributaries of the Arkansas and of the Red rivers. . . . 
Agreeably to the best intelligence, we find the country, both northward and 
southward of that described, commencing near the sources of the Sabine and 
Columbia, and extending to the northern boundaries of the United States, is 
throughout of the same character." 

Again we find, in Carey and Lee's atlas of 1827: "The Great American 
Desert covers an indefinite territory in Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, Indian 
Territory, and Texas." - Mitchell, in his "Accompaniment to Reference and 

Note 2. — "About 140 miles west of the state of Missouri the country begins to assume a more 
level face. About this place, also, commences a growth of short, soft grass on the prairies, 
which prevails westwardly, none of which is found in Missouri, Illinois, or Indiana. I presume 
that this circumstance has led some travelers into the mistaken supposition that they were pass- 
ing over poor land. The soil, as far west as we e.xtended our survey, is almost invariably rich. 
The uplands are somewhat inferior to that nearer the state of Missouri. The bottom lands of 
Solomon river, which are two or three miles wide, mostly prairie, and the bottom lands of other 
smajler streams, are of first-rate quality. . . . 

" I beg leave, sir, to state distinctly that I am confirmed in an opinion often expressed, that 
the country under consideration may safely be considered favorable for settlement ; the distance, 
on an average of 200 miles from the state of Missouri and territory of Arkansas, water, wood, 
soil, and stone, are such as to warrant this conclusion."— Rev. Isaac McCoy. Extract from his 
letter to the secretary of war, dated April, 1831, reporting his survey of the Delaware reserve and 
outlet, in Kansas, the previous summer. — In 23d Cong., 1st sess., sen. doc. 512, p. 435. 



The History of the Desert. 105 

Distance Map," published in 1835, states that a large portion of this country- 
may be likened to the Great Sahara or African desert. In 1838 Bradford's 
Atlas of the United States indicated the great desert as extending from 
the Arkansas through into Colorado and Wyoming, including South Dakota, 
part of Nebraska, and Kansas. Here, also, was an indefinite boundary, sug- 
gesting an unknown country. 

Perhaps Irving, in his "Astoria," gave the most forcible impulse to this 
notion of the great interior. In his association with the northwest custom 
officials at Montreal he listened to many stories of adventure, and, as he states: 
"I was at an age when imagination lends color to everything, and the stories 
of these Sinbads of the wilderness made the life of a trapper and a fur 
trader perfect romance to me." Subsequently he made a brief tour on the 
prairies and into Missouri and Arkansas, and then was prepared to write 
"Astoria, " in which he gives graphic pictures of the plains. But he prefaces 
this charming book with the significant statement that "The work I here 
present to the public is necessarily of a rambling and somewhat disjointed 
nature, comprising various expeditions by land and sea." While it is a book 
full of interest, no doubt the Sinbads of the wilderness and Irving's imagina- 
tion fail to give sufficient data to enable us to form a clear judgment of the 
country. 

In regard to the nature of this country, Irving has this to say, in part : 
"This region, which resembles one of the ancient steppes of Asia, has not 
inaptly been termed ' The Great American Desert. ' It spreads forth into 
undulating and treeless plains and desolate, sandy wastes, wearisome to the 
eye from their extent and monotony. . . . It is a land where no man 
permanently abides, for at certain seasons of the year there is no food for 
the hunter or his steed." Again, he continues to say: " Such is the nature 
of this immense wilderness of the far West, which apparently defies cultiva- 
tion and habitation of civilized life. Some portions of it along the rivers 
may partially be subdued by agriculture, others may form vast pastoral 
tracts like those of the East, but it is to be found that a great part of it 
will form a lawless interval between the abodes of civilization, more like 
the wastes of the ocean or the deserts of Arabia, and, like them, be subject 
to the depredation of marauders." This work appeared in 1836, and gave 
renewed impulse to the ideas of the Great American Desert. 

Soon after came the great struggle over the Oregon territory, during 
which an attempt was made to show the boundless wastes of desert that 
existed between the extended possessions of the United States and the 
Pacific coast. Greenhowe's History of Oregon, which appeared in 1845, took 
up the statement of Long and emphasized his frightful picture of the coun- 
try. He says: 

' ' One most important fact in a geological point of view was completely 
established by the observation of the party, viz. , that the whole division of 
North America drained by the Missouri and Arkansas, and their tributaries, 
between the meridian at the mouth of the Platte and the Rocky Mountains, 
is almost unfit for cultivation, and thus uninhabitable for people dependent 
on agriculture for subsistence. The portion for almost 500 miles, extending 
from the thirty-ninth to the forty-ninth parallels of latitude, was indeed 
found to be a desert of sand and stones, and subsequent observations have 
shown the adjoining regions to a great distance west of those mountains to 
be yet more arid and sterile. ' ' 

From this time on the geographies continued to represent the Great 



106 Kansas State Historical Society. 

American Desert on their maps and the explorers continued to talk of the 
sterility of the region, which now extended from the meridian passing through 
Council Bluffs to that unknown region beyond the Rocky Mountains. Mitch- 
ell's School Atlas, in 1840, pictured the Great American Desert west of the 
Rocky Mountains, and described it as a great sandy desert, running from 
Arizona to the northern boundary of Nevada, covering the entire territory 
between the Rocky and the Snow mountains. Smith's Geography, in 1844, 
had the same statement, with the exception that the Nevada-California 
desert was called the "Great Sandy Plains." Smith repeats the same in his 
editions of 1847 and 1850. The geographies continued to represent these 
ideas down to the year 1870, though the desert grew smaller and smaller, 
and finally became eliminated. 

The settlement of Kansas and Nebraska in the '50's and '60's tended, to 
a certain extent, to eHminate the desert idea. In the meantime, the expe- 
ditions of the United States government, especially those of Fremont and 
Kearney, and the surveys for great transcontinental railroads, tended to clear 
up the matter by degrees, though we still find that the magazines continued 
to discuss the Great American Desert. In the North American Review, July, 
1858, is a paragraph on the report of Lieut. C. K. Warren on the Missouri 
and the Great Plain. The eastern line of the desert has now moved up to 
central Kansas and Nebraska, but the author goes on to state that, ' ' Sup- 
posing, however, that with central Nebraska and Kansas civilization outside 
the river bottoms must cease, the question arises. What effect will this im- 
portant fact have on these young territories themselves, as well as on the 
country at large? Nebraska and Kansas will be, in that case, the source at 
which will terminate a vast ocean desert nearly 1000 miles in breadth." 

Again, in the Westminster Review, for July, 1867, a writer is trying to 
point out that the Hudson Bay Company has taken lands to themselves 
which are fertile and valuable, and has tried to create the impression that 
the lands are worthless. In speaking of the territory south of the northern 
boundary of the United States, he has this to say: "From the valley of the 
Mississippi to the Rocky Mountains the United States territory consists of 
an arid tract extending south nearly to Texas, which has been called 'The 
Great American Desert. ' This sterile region, covering such an immense ex- 
tent of area, covers but a few miles of fertile land. ' ' The author proceeds 
to describe the lands of Canada, and then states: "Nature, marching from 
east to west, showered her bounty on the United States until she reached 
the Mississippi, but there she turned aside and went northward to favor 
British territory." 

The explorations for transcontinental railroads near the forty-seventh 
and forty-ninth parallels from St. Paul to Seattle, and near the forty-first 
and forty-second through South Pass from Council Bluffs, and near the 
thirty-eighth and thirty-ninth westward to San Francisco, gave considerable 
information about the country. But in all the surveys carried on by the 
government, and in all the scientific expeditions, there seem to be no 
methodical efforts to show the nature of the soil and its adaptability to ag- 
riculture. The general descriptions of climatic conditions, and the fauna, 
flora and general geology of the country, were without a serious discussion 
of the possibility of agriculture. 

In an article published by General Hazen in the North American Revietv, 
January, 1875, based on his investigations during a long residence in the 



The History of the Desert. 107 

territory described, is given the most scientific description of the country- 
put in print up to that date. While he does not take the ground that had 
been reached by other observers, that there will be damming up of the 
stream of immigration on the frontier at the middle of Nebraska and Kan- 
sas, he shows that the railroads and land agents, in the interest of this West- 
ern country, have greatly exaggerated its agricultural possibilities. 

However, granting that the railroads made exorbitant statements con- 
cerning the fertility of the soil and possibiHties of agriculture in the West in 
general, we now observe, in a somewhat different way from what they pic- 
tured it, the resources of the West are rapidly appi-oximating their most san- 
guine representations. • General Hazen states that 200 miles fi'om Omaha 
good agricultural land is found, but, after that, nothing but barrenness. He 
states that the western limit of our agricultural land has been reached by 
settlers along the frontier from the Rio Grande to the forty-ninth parallel 
of latitude. Among other things, he specifically states that the western half of 
Kansas is unfit for agriculture, and the Solomon, Republican and Saline rivers 
rise in the northern part of it in numerous small branches, giving some small 
strips for irrigation, but as a rule the soil is unsusceptible of agriculture and 
unfit for settlement. We now know that much of the land described in 
Kansas and Nebraska has turned out to be fine agricultural land, producing 
some of the finest crops of wheat in the world. Indeed, as if to defy the 
opinions of men, nature has extended the wheat belt nearly to the Colorado 
line. As farmers have learned to handle the soil and adapt agricultural 
methods to the climate and the soil, the agricultural belt has continually 
widened. Also, to a certain extent, the processes of agriculture have notice- 
ably aflTected the rainfall and the climate. General Hazen refers to the state- 
ment of Mr. Blodgett, of the government service, that "the great arid re- 
gion may be said to embrace ten degrees of longitude and seventeen degrees 
of latitude in the United States, drained only by the great Colorado and 
Columbia rivers, yet so arid is this region that fully 200 miles square has not 
sufficient rainfall to require any drainage at all." It is evident that in this 
statement he includes the region west of the Rocky Mountains. 

Some attempts were made in 1862 by the Union Pacific railroad to ex- 

NoTE 3. — The following- letter was found among the archives deposited with the Historical 
Society by Adjutant-general Hughes, and contains a prophecy of the agricultural possibilities of 
the western half of our state now more than fulfilled: 
His Excellency Governor- Carney: Land-office. Junction City. Kan.. August 5. 1863. 

Sir — Knowing the lively interest you take in reference to the prosperity of the state, I wish 
to call your special attention to a subject which, I presume, has already engaged your attention 
to some extent. 

The question is: "Immigration to the state." The dry year, the war, our proximity to or 
location in a state possibly very soon to be one of the greatest battle-fields of the war, and other 
causes, have for the past two years almost entirely defeated Kansas of the immigration which 
would have naturally flowed into it ; and these and other causes still retai'd and turn immigra- 
tion aside. That capital should be shy of danger is natural, and thus we lose a class of men much 
needed in all communities, and which should be secured if it can be done with fair means. 

I am told that several of the Western and Northwestern states have agents at some of our 
principal cities whose business it is to direct immigration. Thus Minnesota and other North- 
western states are now filling up. How these agents are sustained, or whether the report is 
true, I know not, but I presume it is done in some way by the state. 

If some such way could be adopted in Kansas, would it not richly repay our state ? A few of 
the border counties are partially settled, but far more than one-half of the state is still almost 
without settlement. Pass a line north and south through the east line of the Pottawatomie re- 
serve, and that is close to Topeka, which is far east, as you know, of the center of the state, and 
I am of the opinion that if the entire families on farms were located at regular distance that you 
would not have one family for each township of six miles square: and this though no desert 
waste can be found for 175 miles west of this place. And here, governor, let me ego a little. I 
came to Kansas in 1853, and have been here ever since. I think I know this portion of the state 
from observation and e.xperience. and I feel confident in its ultimate triumph in all that goes to 
make up agricultural wealth. It is and should be a drj-er country than most of the Mississippi 



108 Kansas State Historical Society. 

periment on their land in regard to the possibilities of agriculture, but all 
grains and grasses failed for want of water. All the trees failed, except 
the catalpa, honey-locust, and box-elder, which seemed to thrive. 

General Hazen estimated in his report that the possible arable land of 
Arizona was not more than one million acres, and that of New Mexico the 
same; Colorado having only two millions. We find at the present time that 
Arizona has an acreage of about two millions already under cultivation; 
Colorado, of nearly ten millions; New Mexico, of five millions of acres of land, 
all under cultivation, within twenty-five years from the time General Hazen 
made his dismal statement about the arid lands of the West. One conclu- 
sion that he reached is the following: "The phenomena of the formation 
and rapid growth of new, rich and populous states will no more be seen in 
our present generation, and we must soon face a condition of facts utterly 
new in the condition of the country, when not new but old states must make 
room for the increase of population, and thus receive a fresh impulse." 

The final stroke which destroyed the terror of the desert and exploded 
its myths and reduced its legends to matters of fact was a report of Major 
Powell, in 1879, on the "Lands of the Arid Region." It was a report on 
the whole interior region, from the humid regions of the East to the Pacific 
ocean, based upon the rainfall and the water-supply. All the lands having 
an annual rainfall below twenty inches are called arid. Those having a 
rainfall of from twenty to twenty-eight inches are called the subhumid re- 
gion. The western boundary of this subhumid region runs along on the 
one hundredth meridian. About four-tenths of all the land in the United 
States, exclusive of Alaska, at the time the report was written, was in- 
cluded in the arid district, having an annual rainfall below twenty inches. 
About one-tenth of the land was found in the subhumid region. Major Powell 
characterizes the subhumid region as a land subjected more or less to disas- 
trous droughts, the frequency of which will diminish from west to east. 
He also asserts that agriculture cannot have an assured success in a coun- 
try where the rainfall is twenty inches or less; and he doubts whether, be- 

valley, but it has quite moisture enough for the staple agricultural products. The extreme west- 
ern border of the state will perhaps be the only land in the state not strictly agricultural, but 
even this belt of land will be found to be but a narrow one and beyond the extreme head of the 
Kansas river. The early and later rains fall as far west as the forks of the Solomon, 150 miles 
west of this place, each year since I have been here, and will more and more as the land is 
opened up. I allude to this subject, governor, because it is generally believed that western Kan- 
sas will not produce, is too dry, etc. I am well satisfied that it will grow more wheat, and, take a 
series of years, more corn, than Iowa or Illinois. But I have said enough. 

The question now is. How shall we secure an immigration to fill up a country pierced by 
three lines of railroads : One from Atchison west to the Republican, one up the Kansas and up 
the Republican valley, and one from Topeka southwest through a very rich portion of the state? 
A vast population can be stored on the waters of the Blue, the Republican, on the rich, broad 
valley of the Solomon, as well as on the Smoky Hill, Neosho, and other streams. Thousands of 
settlers can find as good land now open as the land joining the town site of Topeka on the south, 
and all over western Kansas. 

I have not nor will not allude to advantages other than agricultural. You will need none. 
To suppose that there is no other, is to set aside some of the most obvious saline and mineral 
manifestations found anywhere. 

I write this hasty note, governor, to simply call your attention to the subject, believing that 
if any plan can be devised to direct immigration legitimately that it will be done. 

I will not deny that I might possibly be benefited a little with such immigration, but the 
state would far more. And feeling confident of the purpose of the executive to make Kansas a 
prosperous state, I have called his attention to it, at the same time feeling that you have no 
doubt ere this given the subject your most careful attention. 

If the executive has not at his disposal such state means as will enable him to plan and 
execute some well-directed plan to consummate the object. I trust that the coming legislature 
will at once place a proper fund at his disposal as will conduce much to the early and permanent 
prosperity of this rich state. 

Would that it could be done at once and not wait another year. 

Feeling that I am writing to a friend, I have spoken freely, and shall be glad at any time to 
do all in my power to increase the wealth and power of the state. 

In haste, very respectfully, your friend, S. D. Houston. 



The History of the Desert. 109 

cause of the alternation of drought and harvest, agriculture will prove re- 
munerative in the arid region. Not only has rainfall been more regular in 
recent years, but it has been found that some crops may be successfully 
grown on land where the annual rainfall is less than twenty inches. Add to 
these facts the study of the soil and the seasons and the adaptability of a 
variety of crops, and the actual results have been far different from the in- 
ferences drav^Ti from the report. However, he makes a general estimate of 
the water-supply, the amount of irrigable lands, timber lands, and pasture 
lands, all of which was of great value in the settlement of the arid region. 
After this report, while people might talk about the desert in a general 
way, or about particular districts, the conception of the Great American 
Desert had changed or passed away. 

In the map which Major Powell publishes in connection with his work no 
mention is made of any desert in America except a small district southwest 
of the Great Salt Lake, a territory less than twice the size of the small 
state of Rhode Island, known as the "Great Salt Lake Desert." The official 
map of the United States of 1900 recognizes this desert under the name of 
Great Salt Lake Desert. The geographies used in our public schools still 
call it the Great American Desert. It also recognizes a desert in southern 
California and Nevada, east of the Sierra Nevada mountains. But now the 
former desert is circumscribed by two railroads, which pass through a por- 
tion of it, while a third line is surveyed across it. Into the latter one rail- 
road already penetrates, and a second is about to be built through it. Only 
a few years will elapse before the term "desert" will cease to be used in 
connection with any part of the territory of the United States. 

But is there no real desert, apart from the myth which existed in the 
minds of geographers and philosophers ? Within the boundaries of this im- 
mense territory designated by Major Powell as the arid region are many dis- 
tricts which partake of all the qualities of the desert. There are, indeed, 
rocky steppes, treeless plains and sandy wastes still in existence to-day. 
There are wide stretches of land without running water or lakes, and with 
scarcely any rainfall, covered with sand and sage-brush. Upon these dreary 
wastes the sun pours its intense rays, making the hot air move in undulat- 
ing waves from the earth's surface and creating the mirage, the irony and 
mockery of the desert. The traveler, a faint speck upon the boundless 
plain, sees, by means of the fateful mirage, the distant sage-brush suddenly 
enlarging to trees of good proportion that mirror their forms in inviting 
waters. But, as he travels on, the vision recedes at his approach, nor does 
he ever overtake it before the sun passes to the west of the distant moun- 
tains and the picture is dissolved. What an abomination of desolation is this 
desert, that puts its stamp upon everything that lives ! Even the coyote 
has lost the jollity of his nature, which he possesses in well- watered mountain 
and fertile plains; his body is a skeleton, his ribs showing through the matted 
and unhealthy coat of hair, his eyeballs glare, and every evidence of a hun- 
gry, savage nature appears. The sage-hens are feathers, skin, and bones, 
and their dull gray colors, like those of the coyote, agree with the somber 
and desolate appearance of the plain. The lizards and snakes, both savage 
and venomous, are like tough pieces of leather. There is every evidence of 
a struggle for existence. The sage-brush and cactus, wherever the land is 
not too sterile to permit their growth, have taken on the color and appear- 



110 Kansas State Historical Society. 

ance of the desert. They, like the animals, have learned to do without water 
and with comparatively little food, and to live a scrawny, meager life. Tracts 
like these may cover hundreds or thousands of acres, only lacking sufficient 
water to make them blossom as the rose. 

But with all of its desolation the desert is not without its charms ; the 
mountains are always in sight in the dim distance of dust and haze, and 
when the sun's rays pass behind their huge forms they seem to approach 
the dweller on the plains and to gather about him as night falls. The air is 
delightfully cool and charming, and even intoxicating, and as the glare of 
the sun is removed, in the long twilight or in the early morning colors of 
enhancing beauty appear. The grays and browns are vivified in the chang- 
ing light and the scene is enlivened by the appearance of the afterglow of 
sunset. Those who have dwelt in these dry districts, where small tracts of 
land could be irrigated or where stock could be pastured, have accustomed 
themselves to the conditions of life, like the animals and plants. They have 
toughness in their grain and have learned to delight in the attractions of 
the desert. While culture and luxuries of more-favored parts of the world 
are not theirs, there is freedom in this Western life and they love it. The 
climate of the arid region is lacking the disagreeable feature of heat and 
cold, namely, moisture. The excessive heat does not exhaust the system as 
it does in humid regions, nor does the excessive cold impair the health. 
When the thermometer registers 110 in the shade in Arizona the suffering is 
not so great as at 90 in New York city. Likewise in the Dakotas twenty- 
five below zero is more easily endured than zero weather in Boston. There 
is an exhilaration and charm to the air of the arid regions which moist coun- 
tries do not possess. 

Little by little civilization has gradually encroached upon the desolate 
places. While men were conjecturing as to what was to be done to this 
practically boundless area of worthless land, the settler has gradually in- 
vaded the territory and adapted himself to the development of the resources 
of the country. First there came the trappers and the fur traders, who es- 
tablished their posts along the principal streams of the continent. The 
government, to protect the first invaders and to secure the country to itself, 
planted lines of forts along the principal highways of travel, until the whole 
territory was dotted with military stations, which opened up the way more 
fully to the settler and the traveler. The great overland trading routes 
from Independence, Atchison, Leavenworth and Council Bluffs to Santa Fe, 
N. M., and to Oregon, along the old Santa Fe, Salt Lake and Oregon trails, 
enlivened the scene and opened up the way for future settlement. The 
hardy pioneer established his cabin in some fertile spot convenient to fuel 
and water, and began agriculture and stock-raising in a small way. This 
advance-guard of civilization, settling down without leave upon Uncle Sam's 
land, suggested the possibilities of the country. Others followed, until, by 
the time of the great transcontinental railroad, the advance-guard had es- 
tablished itself on every plain and in every valley, wherever there was pros- 
pect of food and water for man and beast. 

The discovery of gold in California gave a great impetus to overland 
travel, and many who had crossed the plains returned to settle in some fa- 
vored spot. Thus the possibilities of the great interior became known. 
Gradually, too, it appeared that, in their haste to reach the Eldorado of the 
Pacific coast, the gold-seekers had passed by untold wealth of coal, iron, 



The History of the Desert. Ill 

copper, gold, silver, zinc, lead, and petroleum, hidden underneath the soil in 
mountain or plain. The discovery of these have caused the rapid settlement 
of some districts and added much to the wealth of the country. 

Following in the wake of the railroads came the great multitude of 
people, hurrying and scurrying for new lands and mines and watercourses, 
so that this great arid region is developing tremendous wealth of mining, ag- 
ricultural and pastoral products, and its population is steadily increasing, 
and its desert conditions are gradually disappearing, through the efforts of 
the man who digs and toils and subdues nature. 

The first lands taken were along the rivers and other watercourses. 
The struggle to obtain possession of the water of this region has caused 
much strife and has marked one of the tragedies of the plains. First came 
the fight with the Indians, who resisted encroachment on the water privileges 
of the country. This was followed by the strife of independent squatters 
who contended for water-rights. Then the great land corporations would 
obtain possession of the water or land along a stream and by this means 
control the entire country around. Then came the great contention for the 
great ranges of the territory, and with it cowboy justice, in which might 
made right. The contention of the cattleman against the sheepman has 
led to many a dark tragedy. While cattle permit forage and undergrowth 
to survive and perpetuate themselves, sheep sweep the country clean of its 
vegetation, eventually killing the native grasses. Hence, when a few thou- 
sand sheep are introduced into a neighborhood it is not long before it is unfit 
for a cattle range. There has been great prodigality of plain and forest by 
improper use and by the carelessness of settlers in destroying forests by fire. 
But these strenuous times, when the whole country was subjected to the sav- 
age rule of contending forces, are fast passing away. Gradually the country 
has yielded to the influences of law and order. There is also a greater util- 
ity of the resources of nature. Forests and ranges are protected and the 
water is quite evenly distributed, so as to yield the largest service to the 
various members of the community. The laws of irrigation have done much 
to regulate the property rights in water. It is treated more as a commodity 
in the market and less as a mere accident of nature. 

The work of irrigation, in a measure, is the basis of prosperity in this 
region, for it deals with the food-supply— that which makes all civilization 
possible. They have learned to measure the water on the surface and the 
water under the surface and to direct it to scientific use. Thousands of 
windmills pump the water from wells and irrigate small tracts of land, 
amounting, in the aggregate, to hundreds of thousands of acres. The water 
is turned from the streams to cover the irrigable land, and huge reservoirs 
hold the surplus water of mountain streams, to be measured out to growing 
crops. 

The waste and misuse of water when water is the great essential, the 
burning of the forests when timber is scarce, the destruction of grasses and 
ranges through lack of care, are tragedies of the past. They have given 
way to the utility of forest and stream and vegetation. The mines and the 
railroads have caused tremendous feats of engineering skill. The moun- 
tains have been tunneled and crossed and the hills forced to yield their 
treasures of mineral wealth. Manufactories of all kinds have sprung up 
and are increasing daily in number and equipment. At Pueblo are gigantic 
iron and steel works that would not seem insignificant by the side of the 



112 Kansas State Historical Society. 

magnificent plants at Pittsburg. The rapid movement in manufacturing en- 
terprises in the far West comes as a surprise to many. But why should it? 
With water-power, coal, and all minerals, and a consuming public, manu- 
facturing is an essential outcome of the country. Steadily the factory ap- 
proaches the region of power and raw material. 

Best of all, this great region, marked by plain and valley and mountain, 
the backbone of the continent, is the great health-maker of the nation. 
Not all of the land can be put to agricultural use, but it has a high service 
to perform in the control of storm and wind and sunshine for the strength 
and healing of the nation. 

One should not pass lightly by the influence of education in the building 
of the great commonwealths in the arid region. For scarcely had the smoke 
first issued from the lonely cabin or the sod house before the sturdy pioneers, 
following the precedent of the more-favored settlers of the Mississippi 
valley, began to plan for schools, and for schools of the better sort. 
Meager, it is true, was the beginning, but soon high schools, colleges and 
universities dotted the land. Every state and territory within the arid 
region has its state university, whose education articulates with the high 
schools and grammar-schools of the country. It is a land of magnificent 
distances, and many of the pupils were obliged to journey far to reach the 
seat of education, but they minded it not. The writer once taught a small 
school in a district fifty miles square. Some were deprived of the privilege 
of education, but others were eager enough to ride seven miles to and from 
school in the pursuit of knowledge. In a western county of Kansas, in what 
is known as "the short-grass country," nearly 400 miles from Kansas City, 
are a few remnants of the old sod schoolhouse. But from these sod school- 
houses the children graduate into the county high school where Latin, French, 
German, mathematics and the rudiments of science are taught, and where 
they are fitted for entrance to the University. ^ One grasps the greatness 
and beneficence of our public-school system when it is realized that from the 
sod schoolhouse on the plains it is but a step to the high school and another 
to the University, after which the best educational institutions of America 
and Europe are open to the zealous student. Surely the schoolhouse, the 
free library and the church have played no small part in the mastery of the 
desert. 

The immense power derived by the fall of great volumes of water, de- 
scending from a height of 10,000 feet to a plain of 4000, will give the me- 
chanical power of a hundred Niagaras for the development of manufactures 
and transportation. Even now a plan is conceived of running an electric 
line down the canyon of the Colorado to the sea and using the water-power 
of the river to generate electric power for the road. It is only a suggestion 
of what may be added to the engineering feats already accomplished in the 
mastery of the West. 

The millions of money derived from land sales and appropriated by Con- 
gress to carry on irrigation in the arid region will be of untold value in the 
utilization of the water-supply. Great reservoirs will be biiilt for the stor- 
age of surplus waters of the melting snows of the mountains, to be distrib- 
uted on the land, insuring bountiful crops. Could the floods of great rivers 
be thus stayed and evenly distributed over the plains, immense tracts of 
land would yield bountiful harvests. 

Note 4.— See "The Victory of the Plow," page 38, this volume. 



The History of the Desert. 113 

The construction of the Panama canal will mean much to the interior of 
the United States. It will mean a shifting of the center of trade and manu- 
facture to the West, and will call for the development and use of all the 
natural water-power and resources of the country. Even now the lines of 
commerce are running north and south from the interior to the Gulf. 

But let us see what has been accomplished already in this arid region of 
Major Powell's. Let us observe to what extent the real desert has been 
conquered. Leaving out of consideration the great states of Missouri, Iowa, 
Minnesota, and Arkansas, comprising a territory once considered valueless, 
with a population of over eight millions, and considering only the fifteen 
states and territories lying almost wholly in the great arid region, compris- 
ing a territory of 1,508,210 square miles, we have to note the following sta- 
tistics : The population within this territory numbered, in 1900, 8,771,269; 
the acreage of farms, 300,380,645. Of these farms, 100,956,487 acres are 
already improved. The value of the farms in 1900 was $4,006,108,282. The 
value of agricultural products for 1900 was estimated to be $947,907,104. Of 
farm lands, 6, 566, 738 acres are under irrigation. In addition to this, the mining 
products, $160,000,000, add to the growing wealth of the country. But more 
marvelous than all this is the rapid growth in railroad extension throughout 
this territory. The mileage of railroads had already reached, in 1900, the 
enormous figure of 50,712.96 miles. There are not less than six great trans- 
continental lines running through the territory, and there soon will be sev- 
eral more. Short lines are extending in every direction into fertile valleys, 
and to mines and "cattle ranges, opening up the territory and furnishing 
means of increasing population. A line has been completed from Salt 
Lake City to Los Angeles, running through the heart of the great sandy 
plain of the geographers. Another will soon be completed from Denver 
through the northern part of Colorado and Utah to Salt Lake City, open- 
ing up a territory comprising the richest part of Colorado in agricultural and 
mineral lands. Another line penetrates the northern part of Nevada and 
enters the Sierra Nevadas and the northern part of California. 

Nevada is being crosscut by short lines to meet the new mining districts. 
Railroad extension in the Southwest has been very rapid, and the proposed 
new Orient road from Kansas City to Port Stillwell will pass through some 
of the most desolate portions of Texas. How long will it take, then, by the 
penetration of railroads, through the development of mines, and by the use 
of all the water that can be obtained above the ground and from underneath, 
to transform this healthiest portion of the globe into a populous district of 
fifty millions of people? Gradually, but surely, the real desert is being mas- 
tered, just as was the myth of the desert, by the push and energy of the peo- 
ple. The great Northwest also is awakening to renewed energy. Montana 
and Idaho are undergoing a rapid change, as people begin to realize their vast 
agricultural and mineral resources. Though the country is rough and moun- 
tainous the valleys of states large enough for empires will support a large 
population. But the excess agricultural products of the great interior will 
all be consumed by a population engaged in manufacturing, transporting, 
and mining. 

Prophesying on the future of America, Coleridge, many years ago, said: 
"The possible destiny of the United States of America, as a nation of 100 
millions of freemen, stretching from the Atlantic to the Pacific, living under 



114 Kansas State Historical Society. 

the laws of Alfred, and speaking the language of Shakespeare and Milton, is 
an august conception." We are now prepared to improve on Coleridge, and 
to say a nation of 200 millions of freemen, living under American common 
and statute law, stretching from the Atlantic to the Pacific, fifty millions of 
whom occupy the arid region of the continent, where the word "desert" is 
unknown, will soon be a mighty reality. Truly— 

"Westward the course of empire takes its way; 
The first four acts already past, 
The fifth closes the drama with the day; 
Time's noblest product is the last." 

Some may dispute that the last act of the great drama of immigration 
and settlement is the noblest of them all, but it is at least great in the 
completion of the nation and the mastery of mountain, desert, and plain. 
What has a half-century wrought with its slow-going methods? What will 
the next half-century do, with steam and electricity, with improved ma- 
chinery and methods of agriculture ? 

The Santa Fe and Oregon trails, still in the memory of men living, are 
like the stage-coach and the emigrant train— practically unknown to the 
men who are now building the West. The old cabins and dugouts are re- 
placed with modern dwellings. The great ranges are fast passing into or- 
derly farms, where cultivated crops take the place of wild grasses. Steadily 
is man's rational selection directing the selection of nature. Even the 
cowboy, an essential creation of Western conditions, is rapidly passing 
away. Like the buffalo, he has had his place in the drama of civilization. 
The Indian of the plain must yield to civilization or pass away. Custer, 
Cody, Bridger and Carson did their work and passed on. So did the great 
caravan of the plains. Pioneers of the old school are giving place to a 
young and vigorous group of men of intellect, will, and ceaseless activity, 
who are turning the light of scientific discovery on plain and mountain. 
College men are found in every town and city, on plain and mountain, join- 
ing hands with the man of affairs in subduing nature and building an em- 
pire in the arid region. 



11. 

Semicentennial Anniversary of Our 
Territorial Organization. 



KANSAS-NEBRASKA BILL AND DECORATION DAY. 

An address by Hon. William H. Taft/ secretary of war, at Topeka, May 30, 1904. 

THE semicentennial anniversary of the signing of the bill organizing the 
territories of Kansas and Nebraska was enthusiastically observed 
throughout the state in schools and public gatherings, Monday, May 30, 1904. 
Monday was Memorial day, and it was observed jointly at Topeka by the 
Grand Army of the Republic and the pioneers; Tuesday was territorial day; 
Wednesday was woman's day; and Thursday was Topeka day. 

Monday there was a great military and civic parade in Topeka, in honor 
of Secretary of War William H. Taft, who represented President Roose- 
velt, as the orator of the day. Tuesday was characterized by an exhibition 
of pioneer experiences, and on Wednesday the women gave an exceptionally 
fine flower parade. 

The Auditorium was crowded to its utmost Monday afternoon, the 30th, 
to observe the dual anniversary of Decoration day and the formation of Kan- 
sas territory. 

Theodore F. Garver, of Topeka, called the meeting to order and intro- 
duced Right Reverend Frank R. Millspaugh, bishop of the diocese of Kan- 
sas, who offered the following prayer: 

"Almighty God, whose kingdom is everlasting and forever infinite, have 
mercy on the whole land, and especially, we ask, on this the fiftieth anniver- 
sary for the state of Kansas. So rule the hearts of the president of the 
United States, the governor of this state and all others in authority that they 
and we, the people, may in all things seek Thy honor and glory in true citi- 
zenship. We thank Thee for the great blessings Thou hast heaped upon us 
as a state, and as we commemorate to-day those who have died in and after 
service for their country, we give them hearty thanks for their example of 
self-sacrifice, and we beseech Thee that we with them may have our perfect 
consummation and bliss in Thy eternal and everlasting glory, through Jesus 
Christ our Lord." 

Note 1.— William Howard Taft was born in Cincinnati, Ohio. September 15. 1857. He 
was educated at Woodward high school, Cincinnati, graduated at Yale in 1878, and at the Cincin- 
nati Law School in 1880. He served as assistant prosecutor of Hamilton county, 1881-'82 ; col- 
lector of internal revenue, first district of Ohio, 1882. which position he resigned : in general law 
practice from 1883 to 1887 ; from 1887 to 1890 he was judge of the superior court of Ohio ; 
solicitor-general of the United States, 1890-'92 : dean and professor law department. University 
of Cincinnati, 1896-1900 ; United States circuit judge, sixth circuit, 1892-19C0 ; civil governor 
Philippine islands, June 5, 1901-'03: president United States Philippine Commission, 1900-'03 ; 
appointed United States secretary of war, 1903, in which position he is still serving. His father, 
Alphonso Taft, served as secretary of war and attorney-general in the cabinet of President 
Grant, and as minister to Austria and Russia under President Arthur. 

(115) 



116 Kansas State Historical Society. 

Judge Garver very fitly stated the purpose of the meeting, as follows: 

" I extend cordial greeting and hearty welcome to our distinguished guest, 
the secretary of war, and to all who have come to-day to join us in the 
celebration of an event in Kansas history which has meant so much and 
which still means so much to our state and nation. Fifty years ago to-day 
Kansas emerged from the chaos of almost boundless plains and assumed the 
place of an organized territory among the states of this nation. When the 
curtain was drawn aside, her people were seen already arrayed for that con- 
test in behalf of the rights of man which was impending. They won the 
fight which made Kansas a free state; and, without faltering or even stop- 
ping to sheathe their swords, they marched forward to join that greater army 
and helped win the fight which made a free nation. 

' ' On this Memorial day of 1904, it is fitting that we celebrate that first 
step taken by Kansas, half a century ago, towards the statehood which she 
to-day honors; and that we, at the same time, commemorate the heroic 
deeds of that grand army of men in blue whose sacrifices made possible 
such a statehood in such a nation. This day belongs to the brave men of '54 
and the veterans of '61. Hats should go off as we do them honor. 

"It had been arranged that this meeting should be presided over by Charles 
Harris, department commander of the Grand Army of the Republic for 
Kansas. He has been unavoidably prevented from being with us; but there 
is present Abram W. Smith, of McPherson, late department commander, 
and I take great pleasure in presenting him to you as the president of this 
meeting." 

Mr. Smith said that the day was doubly dear to all Kansans because it 
commemorated events in which Kansans were especially interested. "The 
people who came here from the Eastern and Middle states," he said, 
* ' planted the seed which made this a free state. They determined the destiny 
and character of the state. After the early settlers came the young men 
who had left their homes to go to war. When they had returned home they 
found their places taken; so they came west. This made Kansas essentially 
a soldier state, and we are proud of it." 

Gov. Willis J. Bailey followed with a short address. He said the day 
which the people had met to celebrate was surrounded by sacred memories 
which were inspiring. He thanked the old soldiers for the inheritance of an 
undivided Union and said that it would be kept as inherited. * ' You have 
demonstrated to the world," he said to the old soldiers, "what love of 
country means, and the flag you fought for not only floats over a united 
country, but over other lands as well. What we have is merely a prelude 
to what we will have when the country is fully developed. Our early set- 
tlers produced wonders and the work has not ceased. The character of the 
state was made by the settlers and the soldiers. You old soldiers blew in 
the bottle the character of Kansas and there it is going to stay. States 
have characters as well as individuals; you established the character of 
Kansas." 

In closing his speech Governor Bailey introduced Secretary Taft, and the 
audience arose and cheered as Mr. Taft came forward on the platform. 
His address in full: 

Mr. Chairman, Members of the Grand Army, and Citizens of Kansas: I 
deeply regret, as you must, that the engagements of President Roosevelt pre- 



Kansas-Nebraska Bill and Decoration Day. 117 

vented him from accepting the invitation of your committee to address you 
at this time. No one could have pointed out more forcibly and more usefully 
the lessons to be drawn from this day we celebrate and its sequelae than 
he, with his thorough knowledge of our country's history and his discriminat- 
ing appreciation of the significance of its important events. But he could 
not come; and as a poor substitute he persuaded your committee to accept 
me. I appreciate the honor greatly, but sympathize with you in your dis- 
appointment. 

It would be difficult to select a day and date more important and signifi- 
cant, both from a local and national standpoint, than the day which we cele- 
brate here. It is fifty years to a day since President Franklin Pierce signed 
the Kansas-Nebraska bill.'^ We do not meet to praise him, or the author 
of the bill, Stephen A. Douglas, or those by whose votes the bill was enacted 
into law. Though our party prejudices are mellowed by half a century, and 
though now we can take a more judicial view of the act, we still find nothing 
in it which can reflect credit on those who are responsible for its passage. 
The act involved a breach of faith so palpable that its beneficiaries and 
supporters were embarrassed in its defense, while its opponents, the anti- 
slavery men of the North, were roused to an indignation of white heat at this 
deliberate breaking of a compromise which for thirty years had been thought 
to be as sacred as the provisions of the constitution itself. The declarations 
of the bill opened every foot of unorganized territory in the United States 
to the possibility of having imposed upon it the institution of human slavery, 
and it remitted the decision of the question to the uncertain, untutored, float- 
ing vote of a shifting pioneer people, forming the population of a territory 
not yet incorporated into a state. It transferred the decision from the Con- 
gress of the United States, an intelligent and dignified legislature, to an un- 
organized, disorganized body of men, among whom mob violence was cer- 
tain to exist, subject to all sorts of improper influence, capable of unscru- 
pulous manipulation. If this be true, why do we commemorate the event? 
Why is there gathered here so much of the intelligence and patriotism of the 
great state of Kansas? When we meet to celebrate the Fourth of July, it 
is because we feel pride in the declaration of independence and the courage 
and high-mindedness of our ancestors that led them to strike off the bond of 
union with England and make a nation for themselves. When we celebrate 
the adoption of the constitution, it is because we regard that as the greatest 
single instrument ever struck off by the mind of man for the government of 
freemen, with the checks and restrictions necessary to the enjoyment by 
them of proper political control and the freest civil liberty. When we cele- 

NOTE 2.— It was apparently not until some years after its passage that Nebraska was rele- 
gated to the rear in the name of the Kansas-Nebraska bill, and was thus deprived hy its jay- 
hawker neighbor of its immemorial precedence, and of the full fame or notoriety of its relation 
to this famous ( or infamous ) act. Douglas constantly referred to it as the Nebraska bill as late, 
at least, as the time of his debates with Lincoln in 18.58: but in his noted article in Barptr's 
Magazint' of September, 1859, he commits the error of stating that the act " is now known on 
the statute-book as the Kansas-Nebraska act." The act is in fact entitled in the statute as "An 
act to organize the territories Nebraska and Kansas" ; but the Illinois Democratic convention of 
1860 called the measure by its present name. The misnomer, and the usurpation by Kansas of 
first place in the name, may probably be credited to the fact that it ismore easily spoken in that 
form, and that the spectacular and tragical political procedure in "bleeding Kansas " during 
the years immediately following the passage of the bill gave the territory the full place in the 
public eye, to the exclusion of Nebraska, with the comparatively tame events of its organization. 
(Morton's History of Nebraska, vol. 1, p. 155.) The first eighteen sections of the act of May 30, 
1854, apply to Nebraska, and Kansas is provided for beginning with section 19. The senate, 
July 21, 1854, passed a resolution for printing 20,000 copies of the " Kansas and Nebraska act." — 
Senate misc. doc. No. 72, 3d Cong., 1st sess. 



118 Kansas State Historical Society. 

brate Appomattox day or the birthdays of Washington or Lincoln or Grant, 
we rejoice for what happened on the day we celebrate. Here the case is 
different. We rejoice to-day in the fact that the bill which was enacted into 
law fifty years ago, instead of accomplishing the purpose of those who voted 
for it, marks the beginning of the end of a controversy which eliminated from 
our social system the cancer of human slavery, and permits us as citizens of 
the United States to look the world in the face when we proclaim our national 
love of freedom and civil liberty. The Kansas-Nebraska bill was the last 
great step of the slave power before actual secession, which showed to a 
doubtful and hesitating North the political extremity to which the institution 
of slaveiy could bring its supporters; and it aroused the North to a state of 
virtuous excitement which three decades of abolition propaganda had failed 
to stir. 

The first hundred years of the independence of the United States embrace 
but little more than the history of the rise and fall of the slave power in 
this country. That history teaches us that we human beings are so much 
the creatures of circumstance that we should be very charitable in condemn- 
ing those of our fellows who have been led away from the principles of right 
and justice into a condition of mind where a distinct vision of those prin- 
ciples is blurred by self-interest. Originally slaves were owned in all the 
states of the Union; but they disappeared from those states in which slave 
ownership was not profitable, and they increased in those states in which it 
was profitable. 

Had the slaves been profitable in New England and not in South Carolina, 
is it too violent a presumption that the geography of the slavery question 
might have been reversed ? Until Eli Whitney invented the cotton-gin, it 
was by no means an impracticable and impossible effort on the part of 
Jefferson and other leading statesmen of Virginia to bring about an aboli- 
tion of slavery; but as the increase of the planting of cotton and its sale 
enriched the Southern states, and it was believed that the cotton crop de- 
pended upon the use of slave labor, emancipation and abolition in the 
Southern states became a political impossibility. 

In 1784 Jefferson almost secured the passage of an ordinance through the 
Continental Congress which would have excluded slavery from Alabama, 
Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky, and all the territory northwest of the Ohio 
river. By only two votes out of twenty was this ordinance lost. In 1787, 
through the instrumentality of Gen. Rufus Putnam and Nathan Dane, and 
not without the influence of Jefferson, the ordinance of 1787 was passed, 
which excluded slavery from the then northwestern territory, made up of 
the future states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin. When 
the constitution came to be adopted the anti-slave party in the South was 
not sufficiently strong to prevent the necessity for compromise upon the 
slavery question, and the constitution expressly recognized property in hu- 
man beings by making provision for rendition of such property from one 
state to another; and it also expressly recognized the existence of the slave 
trade and its legality until 1808. 

After 1800 both Jefferson and Madison seem to have acquiesced in the 
spread of slavery in the new states. Between 1800 and 1820 a series of 
compromises was effected by which from time to time there was admitted 
to the Union at the same time a slave state and a free state. In 1820 the 
question arose of the admission of Missouri. By that time the slave power 



Kansas-Nebraska Bill and Decoration Day. 119 

had become strongly developed in the South, and a heated controversy arose 
because the supporters of the slavery system deemed its extension into 
Missouri of the utmost importance. Accordingly, the Missouri compromise 
was enacted, which permitted slavery in the state of Missouri, but forbade 
its existence in all other portions of the Louisiana purchase north of the 
south boundary of Missouri; that is, 36° 30' latitude. 

This compromise, which continued in full force and effect for thirty-four 
years, would have been quite sufficient to meet all exigencies had it not been 
for the Mexican war, a war undertaken at the instance of the Southern states, 
for the purpose of securing additional territory below the parallel named in 
the Missouri compromise for the extension of slavery. In the Mexican war 
I include the annexation of Texas, which brought it about. The law annex- 
ing Texas provided for a possible four states to be carved out of that terri- 
tory, which would, of course, largely increase the political power of those 
favoring slavery. It was supposed at the time of the Mexican war that the 
additional territory extending to the Pacific coast obtained from Mexico 
would be well adapted for the introduction of slavery, but it became ap- 
parent from the organization of the territory of CaHfornia as a free state and 
a closer acquaintance with the character of New Mexico that this was a 
mistake. The pressure, however, for additional territory, the aggressive- 
ness of the slave states, and the complaints made by them in respect to a 
failure to restore fugitive slaves by the North, produced a political anxiety 
on the part of the leaders of the Whig party, whose supporters were to be 
found partly in free states and partly in slave states, to secure another com- 
promise, disposing of the questions arising out of the Mexican war. 

Accordingly, Mr. Clay, in 1850, introduced his series of resolutions pro- 
viding, among other things, for the admission of California with a free con- 
stitution; for the admission of any territory acquired from Mexico without 
any restriction as to slavery, because it did not exist by law and was not 
likely to be introduced into any such territory; declaring the inexpediency of 
abolishing slavery in the District of Columbia without the consent of Mary- 
land, and without just compensation to the owners of slaves; prohibiting the 
slave trade in the District of Columbia, and making more effectual provision 
for the rendition of fugitive slaves. These resolutions were embodied in a bill, 
were supported by Mr. Clay, by Mr. Calhoun, and by Mr. Webster— by the 
last named in his famous 7th of March speech— and were enacted into law 
against the opposition of senators who were subsequently identified with the 
Republican party. 

Four years later, after the death of Mr. Calhoun, Mr. Clay, and Mr. Web- 
ster, Stephen A. Douglas, of Illinois, introduced in the senate the Kansas- 
Nebraska bill, asserting that it was the logical outcome of the compromise 
measure of 1850, which, he said, necessarily involved a repeal of the Mis- 
souri compromise, i' The bill permitted the people of the projected state to 

Note 3. — "One day toward the close of January [January 29, 1850], Henry Clay rose from 
his chair in the senate chamber, and waving a roll of papers, with dramatic eloquence and deep 
feeling, announced to a hushed auditory that he held in his hands a series of resolutions propos- 
ing an amicable arrangement of all questions growing out of the subject of slavery. Read and 
explained by its author, this plan of compromise was to admit California, and to establish terri- 
torial government in New Mexico and the other portions of the regions acquired from Mexico, 
without any provision for or against slavery, to pay the debt of Texas and fix her western bound- 
ary, to declare that it was 'inexpedient' to abolish slavery in the District of Columbia, but 
■ expedient ' to put some restrictions on the slave trade there, to pass a new and more stringent 
fugitive-slave law, and to formally deny that Congress had any power to obstruct the slave 
trade between the states."— F. W. Seward, Seward at Washington, 1846-'61, ch. 16. 

"Mr. Atchison labored hard to get the Missouri compromise repealed in the first Nebraska 



120 Kansas State Historical Society. 

declare it free or slave. In the debate which followed, it was clearly estab- 
lished by the arguments of Senators Chase and Wade, of Ohio, Seward, of 
New York, and Sumner and Everett, of Massachusetts, that the repeal of 
the Missouri compromise did not enter into the consideration of those who 
were discussing the compromise measure of 1850. Nevertheless the South- 
ern senators, coming to the rescue of Judge Douglas, upon the constitutional 
ground that Congress had not the power to restrict slavery in the terri- 
tory of new states, passed the bill, and gave, as they supposed, further 
extension to their favored institution. Andrew H. Reeder was appointed 
governor of the new territory by President Pierce, and an election was held 
for the territorial legislature. A pro- slavery legislature was carried by the 
votes of 2500 men who moved across the border from Missouri, cast their 
ballots, and then returned to their Missouri homes. At this stage in the his- 
tory of our country, there was very little to encourage those who looked 
upon slavery as a curse and found no safety for the country save in its ex- 
termination. Compromise after compromise had been made with the slave 
power, with a view to restricting the extension of its operation, until now 
all compromises were abandoned, and the question of the existence of slavery 
was left to mob law and mob violence. At this time, one would have been 
thought mad to prophesy that in little more than ten years from the date 
of the Kansas-Nebraska bill there would be within the jurisdiction of the 
United States only free men and women. It is well for us, with the tend- 
ency to pessimism which we find so wide-spread at the present day, to look 
back in our history and note the occasions and times when the reasons for 
discouragement have been far greater than at the present day, and to fol- 
low with care the result of the courageous and intelligent effort toward the 
betterment of conditions— of individuals who believe in practical progress, 
and who believe in doing things instead of saying things. 

At every stage of progress in the country's growth, there are those who 
profess to have and follow the highest standard of ethics, and, by their criti- 
cisms of actual progress, anger and discourage others who, with quite as 

bill, brouRht in by Mr. Douglas at the short session immediately preceding that in which the 
measure passed. On the 3d of March Mr. Atchison arose in despair and said : ' I have always 
been of the opinion that the first great political error committed in the political history of 
this country was the ordinance of 1787, rendering the Northwest territory free territory. The 
next great error was the Missouri compromise. But they are both irremediable. There is no 
remedy for them. We must submit to them. I am prepared to do it. It is evident that the Mis- 
souri compromise cannot be repealed. So far as that question is concerned, we might as well 
agree to the admission of this territory now as next year, or five or ten years hence.' " — Congres- 
sional Globe, 2d sess. 32d Cong., vol. 26, p. 1113. 

"Several senators followed Mr. Atchison, and spoke against time until the session ran out, 
and thus the bill was defeated. Mr. Douglas, the author, laboring might and main to carry it 
without the clause of repeal, which Mr. Atchison pressed for in vain. A short time before the 
meeting of the next Congress, Mr. Atchison, in his speech to his constituents before leaving for 
Washington, changed his tune from that of his 3d of March speech in the senate, and declared 
that the Missouri compromise repeal should be inserted in the Nebraska bill or he would never 
vote for it. He had, doubtless, heard from his friends in the South, that both the Whig and 
Democratic members of that section would sustain him in this course. Mr. Atchison then ac- 
complished his purpose of repeal: and how? In his speech from the cart-tail in Kansas, 
whither he went to carry slavery by his Missouri force, he told the people he achieved it by in- 
forming Mr. Douglas that if he refused again to insert the repealing clause in the Kansas-Ne- 
braska bill, he would resign the chair of the vice-president in the senate, be elected chairman of 
the territorial committee, and report the repeal of the Missouri compromise himself : and he 
gave Mr. Douglas only twenty-four hours to make up his mind. The latter yielded, and then fol- 
lowed Mr. Douglas's successive attempts to satisfy Mr. Atchison. He first drew a bill leaving it 
to the judges to annul the compromise on the score of its unconstitutionality. Mr. Atchison held 
that this was not a compliance with his pledge. Then Mr. Douglas found between Saturday, 
when the bill was first published, and the next Monday, a final clause which, he said, his clerk 
had lost, and was therefore omitted, and which contained theprovision of the compromise of 1850, 
that the territory might come in as a state with or without slavery, as the constitution deter- 
mined. This was wholly at variance with the bill and its explanatoi-y report, for it took from the 
judiciary and gave to the people the right of deciding the constitutionality of the Missouri 



Kansas-Nebraska Bill and Decoration Day. 121 

high standards, conceive that it is wiser to make some progress by seeing 
clearly actual conditions, treating them as facts or obstacles, and compro- 
mising with them, so far as it is possible without sacrifice of honesty and 
decency, for the sake of real advancement. The former class usually plumes 
itself as the higher and purer element, because it makes no compromise and 
accepts nothing as such. I do not know that it is important to dispute this 
pretense, but I cannot refrain from saying that, in the march of the world 
toward a higher civilization, those who make the progress may fairly claim 
a higher meed of praise than those who not only do not themselves make the 
progress, but so frequently obstruct by their criticisms and sneers those 
who do. 

When the enactment of the Kansas bill of 1854 presented the issue. Shall 
Kansas be free or slave? a few men— hardly more than a dozen— determined 
to make her free by peopling the state with citizens who would forever ex- 
clude slavery from the limits of the new state. 

It is noteworthy that the professed and prominent abohtionists scouted 
the idea that this could be a successful movement, and rejected men engaged 
in it as alHes because it did not appear with sufficient clearness that they 
were casting themselves upon the altar in declared and open sacrifice for the 
cause of the negro. These theorists seemed not to be content with the 
bringing in of the state of Kansas as a free state. They demanded that it 
must be brought in on the avowed principle of love for the negro and in his 
interest. Had their views prevailed, Kansas might have been a slave state; 
but the men engaged in the work were practical men, and of sterner stuff. 
They were little moved by words or formal distinctions. Eli Thayer traveled 
from town to town in the North soliciting aid for his emigration society, and 
recruiting the ranks of the small bands of settlers already in Kansas or on 
their way there. When it became necessary to have guns, Thayer obtained 
them in the East and sent them to his fellows in Kansas. Charles Robinson 
superintended and guided the movement in Kansas itself. With their lives 
often at stake, nothing daunted or discouraged the two patriots. They 

compromise, which was the purport of the committee's bill before this incongruous foundling, 
picked up on Sunday, was attached. But this extraordinary effort did not satisfy Mr. Atchison. 
He thought it possible that both the judges and the territorial convention might feel themt^elves 
unauthorized to repeal the Missouri compromise, and a week after Mr. Dixon had reported his 
amendment for absolute repeal, Mr. Douglas inserted it in his own bill. Who can hesitate in be- 
lieving Mr. Atchison's account of the travail which brought forth the repeal, taken down, re- 
poi-ted and published by his friend, the editor of the Western Dispatch, when sustained by such 
corroborating evidence in the public history of the transaction ?"— The New York Evening Post, 
Saturday, October 20, 1855, in Webb Scrap-books, vol. 6, p. 61. 

"General Atchison resides on the western border of Missouri, and wants to be reelected by 
the newly chosen legislature, if possible. Of course, he is a good deal around, and was in at- 
tendance at a sale of lots on the 20th ult., at Atchison city, on the Kansas side of the Missouri 
river, a few miles above Weston. Finding a large crowd of Missourians in attendance. General 
Atchison improved the occasion by making them a speech, whereof the Parkville LiDninary, of 
the 26th, reports the substance, as follows : " General Atchison mounted an old wagon and made 
a speech. He commenced by alluding to the beautiful country which was now beginning to be 
settled — to some of the circumstances under which a territorial government was organized — 
and in the course of his remarks mentioned how Douglas came to introduce the Nebraska bill 
with the repeal clause in it. Senator Atchison said that, for himself, he is entirely devoted to 
the interests of the South, and that he would sacrifice everything but his hope of heaven to ad- 
vance her welfare. He thought the Missouri compromise ought to be repealed ; he had pledged 
himself in his public addresses to vote for no territorial organization that would not annul it ; 
and with this feeling in his heart, he desired to be chairman of the senate committee on territories 
when a bill was to be introduced. With this object in view, he had a private interview with Mr. 
Douglas, and informed him of what he desired — the introduction of a bill for Nebraska like what 
he had promised to vote for — and that he would like to be chairman of the committee on territo- 
ries, in order to introduce such a measure ; and, if he could get that position, he would immedi- 
ately resign as speaker of the senate. Judge Douglas requested twenty-four hours to consider 
the matter, and said if at the expiration of that time he could not introduce such a bill as he 
(Mr. Atchison ) proposed, which would at the same time accord with his own sense of right and 
justice to the South, he would resign as chairman of the territorial committee in Democratic cau- 



122 Kansas State Historical Society. 

sacrificed everything but honor and honesty to the pursuit of the one pur- 
pose that Kansas, when admitted, should be admitted as a free state. Robin- 
son restrained his fellows fi-om serious conflict with the federal authority, 
and, with a tact and finesse almost impossible for us to understand, limited 
forcible resistance to the repudiated territorial authorities and police. After 
two years, so well conducted was the campaign of Thayer and Robinson, that 
no movement was taken on behalf of the pro-slavery party and the border 
ruflfians of Missouri that did not rouse additional indignation on the part of 
the North against the pro-slavery movement in Kansas and additional sym- 
pathy with those who were there fighting the cause of freedom. 

Ultimately men forced their way into the anti-slavery ranks who were 
willing, from one motive or another, to resort to such unjust extremes that 
the ground which had been gained by the free-state party under Thayer 
and Robinson might well have been lost. Fortunately, however, public 
opinion had then become so fixed that this late movement did not cause the 
reaction which certainly would have been caused had its projectors appeared 
much earlier upon the scene. It would not only take too much time, but it 
would be most perplexing, to enter into a discussion of the Topeka constitu- 
tion and the Lecompton constitution and the controversies which arose in 
respect to them and their varying provisions as to slavery. That happened 
which, with the light we now have, ought perhaps to have been foreseen. 
The forces representing the free men of the country, who are the natural 
pioneers, settled Kansas, and the slave owners and the border ruffians from 
Missouri, who could not resort to more than an occasional invasion, ceased 
to play a part which could be important only when there was no actual set- 
tlement or population. The slave owner was timid, and did not care to ex- 
pose his property to the very decided, risk involved in guarding it in 
disputed territory like that of Kansas; so that the number of slave owners 
who moved here was quite small. This beautiful state, with its magnificent 
agricultural possibilities, attracted the energy and the enterprise of the 

cus, and exert his influence to get him (Atchison) appointed. At the expiration of the given 
time Senator Doug'las signified his intention to report such a bill as had been spoken of.'" — New 
York Tribune, October 19, 1854, in Webb Scrap-books, vol. 1. p. 169. 

"Early in the campaign of 1852 Atchison took the stump in Platte county, which lies on the 
western side of Missouri, with nothing between it and Kansas except the Missouri river, and, 
from the outset, made the great point to be gained by the election of Pierce, the repeal of the law 
of Congress by which Missouri was admitted in 1820. Rev. Frederick Starr, with whom we had 
an interview a few weeks since, who has been for five years past a resident of Platte county, was 
present at a mass meeting at Weston, when this declarative statement was made from the stump 
by General Atchison. This announcement was made thus openly upon the ai'rival there of intelli- 
gence of the result of the Democratic convention at Baltimore and the nomination of Franklin 
Pierce. Atchison then stated that the scheme should be placed in charge of Northern Democrats, 
in order that its success should not be endangered by its Southern origin and advocacy, and he 
assured his hearers of its ultimate and triumphant success. He doubtless had Douglas in his 
eye at the moment of making the announcement — they had been in the senate together, and well 
knew each others' utter baseness, simulation, venality, and entire want of principle. Atchison 
knew that the predilections of Douglas have been always for slavery, and that though nominally 
a Northern man, yet his associations have been with the South." — The Detroit Democrat and 
Inquirer, Friday morning. May 25. 18.55, in Webb Scrap-books, vol. 4. p. 94. 

" I now wish to review my course on the Kansas-Nebraska bill. When the subject was first 
introduced, you know I opposed it. I plainly saw, then, all the difficulties that would and have 
attended it. I told you then that it would be no benefit to you. I told you that it would be 
injurious to the commerce of the frontier counties ; that the trade would go west with the in- 
crease of population. But meetings were held, resolutions were passed declaring it was your 
wish to open that territory, and I, being a true Democrat, promised to go for it on one condition, 
and that was that the Missouri compromise, so called — the Missouri restriction, properly called 
— be repealed. I addressed the people here in this court-house, at Parkville, at Westport, in fact, 
all over the state, and told them that if the compromise was repealed I would go for a bill to 
organize the territory, and in a speech at Independence I told the people that unless that restric- 
tion was repealed I would see them damned before I would go for it. That was the English of 
it. Well, it was done. I do not say that I did it, but I was a prominent agent." — Extract from 
address of David R. Atchison,.at Platte City. Mo., February 4. 1856, as contained in letter of Wm. 
Hutchinson, in New York Daily Times, of February 25, 1856, in Webb Scrap-books, vol. 9. p. 216. 



Kansas-Nebraska Bill and Decoration Day. 123 

Northern youth, stimulated as they were by emigration societies in all the 
Northern states. Even the Southern people, after three years, saw the 
contest in Kansas and Nebraska, from a Southern standpoint, to be hope- 
less. The agents whom President Pierce and President Buchanan sent as 
governors and secretaries to the territory— honest men generally, as they 
were, though prejudiced— returned to tell their principals the truth, that 
Kansas was and must be a free state; that any election that showed other- 
wise was only the result of fraud and violence. There are no greater he- 
roes in the history of this country than Eli Thayer, of Massachusetts, and 
Charles Robinson, of Kansas, who, almost alone and single-handed, entered 
upon the work of peopling a vast territory with free and brave men, so as 
forever to exclude human slavery from its limits. So it was that on the 
29th of January, 1861, almost within hearing of the guns that boomed out 
the beginning of the civil war at Fort Sumter, Kansas was christened and 
accepted as a state of the Union from which slavery should ever be ex- 
cluded. It was the people of Kansas who did this. It was the people of 
Kansas that rose against the iniquitous measure devised for the purpose of 
fastening the system of slavery upon these prairies, and who, by their own 
bravery, courage, and enterprise, made slavery impossible. 

We celebrate to-day the enactment of the Kansas and Nebraska bill as a 
tremendous obstacle to free government which the people of Kansas them- 
selves overcame by their courage, their persistence, and their intelligence. 

We celebrate it as the first step in the birth and development of this 
great state, which, reaching from the Missouri river to the Rocky Mountain 
states, compels admiration of all who look upon it. From a few Indian 
tribes to a highly intelligent and patriotic population of a million and a half 
of souls in fifty years is a transition which finds no parallel save in other 
states of our own country similarly situated. The state has had the diseases 
of childhood. It has been swept at times with notions and ideas, superfi- 
cially attractive, that if the creditor class could only be obstructed in free 
collection of its debts, the debtor and the larger class would profit, to the 
benefit of the community. Hard experience has taught the futility of such 
experiments, and has shown that the only method of securing progress and 
prosperity is to insist on exact justice to both creditors and debtors, because 
the creditor class can always protect itself against more than one loss, 
whereas the debtor class, losing all future and necessary credit, is rendered 
poor indeed. Then there has been on the part of good Kansas people the 
strong conviction that men and women can be made morally greatly better 
by legislation. Such a feeling always possesses an agricultural people of 
strong moral convictions, but as cities grow, and as the population becomes 
more dense, the truth steals over the clear-headed, however moral and high- 
minded, that there is a limit to the making or keeping of people good by law, 
and that when the law essays more than it can really effect, public morals 
are not improved, and the authority and sacredness of enacted law suffer. 
Born and reared as Kansas was in the atmosphere of an intense moral strife, 
possessing largely an agricultural and therefore a simple and honest people, 
the history of the politics of the state presents to the student of economics 
and politics most useful lessons. Strong and enthusiastic as its people are, 
favored by heritage, history, and natural wealth and resources, they can 
afford to experiment, if only the lessons of the experiments are carried home 
to their hearts, thus advancing and retracing their steps. They are in the 



124 Kansas State Historical Society. 

end led along a path of conservative progress which means real advance- 
ment. Child of the irrepressible conflict over the moral issue of slavery, 
carving its own future out of a most inauspicious beginning, the progress, 
material, intellectual, and spiritual, which it has made in the fifty years of 
its history, safely augurs that it will, among the states of the Union, take a 
more and more important place, until with its great central geographical 
position shall accord completely its national influence and control. 

What is the lesson for us from the birth of Kansas ? Is it not that we 
should never despair of the body politic as long as we know that there are 
among the citizens of the republic a large majority sound of heart, sound of 
head, on the right side ? Abuses will establish themselves in popular as in 
other governments, and men will avail themselves of popular lethargy and 
inertia to fasten upon the people for a time a government which is really 
not representative. 

In some of our states to-day there are machines that prevent really popu- 
lar party expression, and in many of the cities the aggregation of the ig- 
norant and corrupt is so great as to make the electorate more easily subject 
to the manipulation of the boss than in the country or in a state at large. 
It is perhaps not too much to say that the problem of to-day most concern- 
ing Americans is the method by which pure and disinterested municipal 
government can be obtained on a popular basis. The increase in wealth has 
put into the hands of individuals and corporations the means of corrupting a 
municipal electorate. 

The lover of his country is apt to exclaim that there is no hope in the 
future. This is not brave ; this is not courageous ; this is not to look at the 
lessons of history ; this is not fair to the progress which has already been 
made, and it does not do justice to the honesty and intention of the great 
mass of the American people; for in their soundness of heart and their 
soundness of mind will be worked out this problem, more intricate in many 
ways possibly than the one we have been just discussing, but one which 
presents no more discouraging features than were placed before the free- 
state men of Kansas when the Kansas-Nebraska bill was passed, in 1854. 

But, gentlemen, this is more than the fiftieth anniversary of the signing 
of the Kansas-Nebraska bill. This is the day set apart by the proclamation 
of the president and the governor of Kansas as a memorial day for the dead 
who have given up their lives for their country in the service of their 
government. As Kansas was the child of the irrepressible conflict between 
slavery and freedom, which led to the war of secession, she could not but 
respond to the nation's call. For six or seven years there had been war in 
Kansas, and the spirit which had thus been engendered sent to the front to 
defend the Union and suppress slavery thousands of Kansas' sons. Under 
President Lincoln's call of May 3, 1861, for three years' men, the First Kan- 
sas infantry was organized. Of this regiment. a writer has said: "The 
rapidity with which men enlisted and the earnestness manifested to proceed 
at once to the place of conflict most clearly demonstrated the loyalty and 
patriotism of the citizens of Kansas." 

Actuated as these men were by the highest patriotic motives, we gather 
here now to do them honor, and to spread flowers and sweet fragrance over 
their green graves. We do this from two motives: First, from a deep and 
ever-recurring sense of gratitude to those who died that our country might 



Kansas-Nebraska Bill and Decoration Day. 125 

live; and, second, to demonstrate to those who may be invited to future 
sacrifice that republics are not ungrateful. 

It is delightful to praise and render tribute to those who die in a cause 
the moral side of which is always prominent, and such were the men who 
entered the civil war under the inspiration of the controversy which grew 
out of the statehood of Kansas. But there are in the graves of yonder 
cemeteries, perhaps, the remains of men who entered the employ and serv- 
ice of the government under no such inspiration, and yet from a simple 
sense of duty to their government they laid dowoi their lives in Indian war- 
fare, Cuba, or the Philippines. Shall we distinguish between the noble dead 
because some may denounce the righteousness of either our Indian, Cuban 
or Philippine war? "My country! may she ever be in the right; but my 
country, right or wrong." This has not always met the approval of all, but 
it must be the true guide of every man who has a country. 

Every man who owes allegiance to a country must bear arms for that 
country, should he be legally called upon. Whether the country be right or 
wrong is a matter always of opinion. In free governments the majority 
usually rules. Constituted authority thus selected determines the course of 
the country, and that course may lead the country into war. Should it do 
so, every citizen, high or low, is subject to the call to arms. If he may dis- 
pute the right of the country to call him, then government is at an end. 
Hence it is that a man who bears the uniform of his country, and in its serv- 
' ice loses his life, whether in the battle or in the hospital, or under any cir- 
cumstances in the line of duty, cannot have his case distinguished from one 
who, acting under the impulse of a tremendous moi-al force, carries forward 
his country's flag to moral victory. To every one of these brave men, 
whether their lives were lost in one war or another, in maintaining one issue 
or another, so long as they were maintaining the cause of their government, 
are gratitude and the sweet commemoration of this day due. It is fortunate 
indeed that a country under free auspices is rarely moved to war save by 
some moral issue, and, therefore, that the moral inspiration is usually with 
the troops of such a nation and such a country; but there is a comparatively 
small number of persons, who claim to be citizens of the world, and to be 
above the mere spirit of patriotism, and who deal more stringently with 
their own country than any other, who need to be reminded that as the world 
is, as governments are, as nations are, there is no higher obligation that 
can be recognized than that which the citizen owes to his country to lay down 
his life in any controversy in which that country may engage. 

And now, as we contemplate the ashes of those whose lives were sacri- 
ficed in the great civil conflict between the North and the South, the ques- 
tion cannot but recur, Could it have been avoided ? Might not the frightful 
loss of life and limb, the ravages of disease and the great destruction of 
property and the suffering of men, women and children have been averted ? 
There were men who thought so at the outbreak of the war. There are those 
who continue to think that the war was unnecessary. I cannot concur with 
them in this view. The hundred years of the growth and development of the 
slave power preceding the war unconsciously fastened into the social system 
of the South attachment to slavery on the one hand and hostility to it in the 
North on the other, which, as Mr. Seward said in his Kansas-Nebraska 
speech, created an ' ' irrepressible conflict. ' ' The issue entered into the 
social life of the South, and its removal and the extirpation of the evil were 



126 Kansas State Historical Society. 

impossible except by a capital surgical operation. " War is hell, " and there 
is no war in history that was more severe than our civil war. Even that 
war, awful as it was, has not wiped out all the evils and all the troubles that 
have arisen from the existence of slavery in the United States. The victors 
doubtless made errors in their effort to remedy the existing evils that time 
and patience only can rectify. Nothing but a cataclysm, nothing but a de- 
structive upheaval, could have brought the peace which now prevails between 
the sections. Much blood as it has cost, much human agony as has been 
expended, all, all have not exceeded the glorious benefit that has accrued to 
our common country. 



[The people of the city of Lawrence engaged in exercises October 1 to 
6, 1904, commemorating the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of Law- 
rence. Sunday, October 2, the Rev. W. M. Backus, of Chicago, preached 
an anniversary sermon ; Monday, October 3, was given to the old settlers 
and the old soldiers, and an address by Geo. W. Martin, secretary of the 
State Historical Society ; Tuesday, October 4, was school day, made memo- 
rable by a wonderful parade by school children ; Wednesday, October 5, an 
address by the Rev. F. W. Gunsaulus, of Chicago ; Thursday, October 6, 
anniversary day, address by George R. Peck, general attorney Chicago, 
Milwaukee & St. Paul railway, Chicago. — G. w. M.] 



EARLY DAYS IN KANSAS. 

An address by George W. Martin, Secretary of the State Historical Society, October 2, 1904, 
at the semicentennial of the founding of Lawrence. 

THE story of Kansas has been told and told, but the half has not been 
known. The troubles of Charles Robinson, John Brown, and James H. 
Lane, the doings and misdoings of the leaders and agitators, have monopo- 
lized the attention of history, to the overshadowing of the meek and humble, 
the noiseless doings of the great army of pioneers, without whom no one 
could have made fame, and but for whom the sentiment of our "Ad astra 
per aspera" would never have been immortalized. 

I look back, and it is easy to see the swarms of heroic men and women 
coming up the river; and, when denied the river, blazing a way across the 
prairies of Iowa and Nebraska, on foot and by wagon, to make homes and 
save Kansas to freedom. And amid the bluster and ruffianism of the bor- 
der, I see pro-slavery or Southern people moving in to find homes, content 
that the issue should be honestly made and fairly settled. And, glancing 
down the history of the years, I see how these people blended into a homo- 
geneous citizenship, disturbed only by the wrangles of those who sought 
leadership. 

And a review of the fifty years shows me how the toilers, the humble in- 
dividuals who came to these plains to work, have made a billion-dollar com- 
monwealth of the territory of Kansas. In view of our aptness in dodging 
taxation, I take it that an assessed valuation in 1904 of $387,577,259 war- 
rants as fair a comparison between the bleak and uninviting prairies of fifty 
years ago, absolutely worthless, and a billion dollars of Uncle Sam's two- 
or four-per-cent. bonds of to-day. Who produced this wonderful result? 



Early Days in Kansas. 127 

Those who filled the offices, many of whom are known only by their receipts 
for salary; those who attained temporary or spasmodic fame; or those who 
figure in our published histories as statesmen and leaders? Of course, none 
of them. Real history will tell you that those who stuck first the plowshare 
into this soil are the heroes who have accomplished so much. 

I am not a boss buster. I would not disparage the boss. Sometimes a 
change is essential, but a boss is indispensable. Kansas was born of bosses, 
by bosses, and for bosses. Concerning Kansas, and what should happen 
here, fifty years ago everybody from Maine to Texas was a boss. The 
political bosses at that time in the higher circles of national affairs undoubt- 
edly decreed that Nebraska should be free and Kansas should be slave ter- 
ritory. New England, however, became the real concrete thing, at long 
range, with several score of subbosses on the ground. And while the Middle 
West furnished the voters and a fair sprinkhng of the subbosses, New Eng- 
land is entitled to the honor of leadership in organizing the forces following 
the plow and the shop, in starting the most interesting of all in the union of 
states. From what I see of the publications of the New England states, of 
New York, Pennsylvania, and some of the Southern states, going back to 
the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, Kansas will some day publish the 
name of every person who settled in her borders during the territorial era; 
this on the theory that the humble worker, and not he who attains promi- 
nence through some noise, is the one that history will in the end credit with 
what success has been made. 

Neither would I disparage the man who fights. Those were stirring 
times. Those who came here to settle a principle and make a home— and 
that meant the vast majority— were compelled occasionally to take the 
sword. They did not come here to steal horses and to raise hell, as some 
historians would have you believe. They and their descendants have re- 
mained with us. But the violence and the outrages through which the 
territorial settlers passed have been dwelt on, to the neglect of business 
operations and the development of material interests. 

So what has been the result of the fifty years under the combined effort 
of the men who started the plow, those who fought, those who led in 
public affairs, and the bossism of New England ? Who can conceive the 
idea of a few settling on a raw and useless piece of the world and starting 
such machinery of government as we have in the state-house at Topeka ? 
Where such a thing or power was never dreamed of fifty-one or two years 
ago, we have a perpetual motion which draws from the soil millions of 
dollars every year where not a dollar existed before. Laws to regulate the 
affairs of the people, and a body to adjudicate differences, are made and 
accepted by all. This power has drawn and expended $11,445,703' in erect- 
ing buildings for public use, for higher education, and the unfortunate. It 
has created a current business requiring the annual gathering and disburse- 
ment for state, county, school and municipal purposes amounting to $16, 063,- 
637.25 for the year 1904. This governmental machine has also created an 
indebtedness upon this territory amounting in 1904 to $34,027,649, securities 
ranking as high as any in the world. 

School property has increased from $10,432 in 1862 to $9,298,387 in 1904. 
There are 8627 common schools at work in the state, employing 10,103 teach- 

NOTE 1. — Superintendent public instruction (Kan.) reports, 1862-1904; state treasurer, 1904. 



128 Kansas State Historical Society 

ers, costing annually from $10,381 in 1862 to $6,523,967.21 in 1904. From 
1878 to 1904, inclusive, this machine called the state, founded by our terri- 
torial pioneers, gathered in and expended for common schools $110,472,981,13. 
It had a permanent school fund, December 31, 1904, amounting to $7,599,- 
395.48. On this date the State University, the State Normal School and the 
State Agricultural College each had permanent funds— bond account — of 
$150,079.17, $218,435, and $487,388.80, respectively. Including the denomina- 
tional schools, we have a total invested in school property of $18,603,324.' 

For the year 1904 our crop products amounted to $208,406,358, and our 
live stock on hand was $159,010,755, making a total value of $367,417,113. 
Among the fifteen leading agricultural states, for a period of five years, 
Kansas stands No. 1, with a combined value of wheat and corn raised for 
that period of $387,433,347. In the year 1900 Kansas ranked No. 1 for corn, 
with a value of $97,807,362. The total acreage of the state is 52,572,160, and 
in 1904 but 25,672,082 acres were in use. From 1904 back to and includ- 
ing 1883, twenty-one years, the crop productions of Kansas amounted to 
$3,368,584,768, or an annual average of $160,408,798. Much less than fifty 
years ago the western end of the state was considered absolutely worthless; 
and yet the results for 1904 gave a per capita production of over $300 in 
several of the counties of that section; and pioneers of 1854 and 1855 have 
lived to see ordinary farms sell for $35 and $40 per acre; and alfalfa farms, 
something then unknown, also sell for from $50 to $75 per acre, in the 
western one-half of the state. Add the value for each year back to and in- 
cluding 1872, less 1873, for which year there are no figures, and we have a 
total of $3,932,153,889. Since 1872, less 1873, and including 1904, we have 
raised, from a very small portion of the "American Desert," 4,070,778,487 
bushels of corn and 1,051,806,169 bushels of wheat. ^ We have 13,099,637 
bearing fruit-trees and 4,946,630 non-bearing fruit-trees. ' 

In 1903 the mineral productions of Kansas amounted to $27,154,007.85, or 
a grand total of production since the industry began of $249,325,890.06. The 
production of oil in 1903 amounted to $1,120,018.90. or a total of $2,025,584.33 
since 1894. In 1903 the value of natural gas produced was $1,115,375, or a 
total of $4,475,616 since 1889.^ Before the greater portion of this oil and gas 
development, the United States census for 1900 gave the state 7830 manu- 
facturing establishments, with a total capital of $66,827,362, and an annual 
production of $172,129,398. 

At the close of fifty years the state had a population of 1,533,049.'' In 
June, 1904, or nine days more than fifty years from the signing of the Kan- 
sas-Nebraska bill, Kansas had 534 state and private banks and 156 national 
banks, in which our people had deposits amounting to $104,841,566.82." We 
are the fifth state in the Union in railroad mileage, with 10,527.92 miles, 
June 30, 1904, of which 10,067 miles are of steel rails." We have $8,000,000 
worth of church property. '' 

Note 1.— Superintendent public instruction (Kan.) reports, 1862-1904; state treasurer, 1904. 

Note 2.— Reports State Board of Agriculture, 1872-1904. 

Note 3. -State Horticultural Society, 1904. 

Note 4. — University Geoloerical Survey of Kansas, Mineral Resources. 1900-'03. 

Note 5,— United States census, 1900. 

Note 6. — Report of Kansas Bank Commissioner, 1903-'04. 

Note 7.— Report of Kansas Board of Railroad Commissioners, 1904. 



Early Days in Kansas. 129 

Stop a moment and grasp these figures, if you can, the result of the 
movement started on these prairies by the territorial pioneers. Consider, 
also, that, of this semicentennial period, on the eastern border the first ten 
years were given to vja.v and bloodshed, while on the western border the first 
twenty or twenty-five years passed before development obtained a foothold 
or impetus, the Indians ^ raiding that section as late as twenty-four years 
after the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska bill. And the figures represent 
the productive power of less than one-half of the magnificent domain within 
the bounds of Kansas. In those days agriculture was considered doubtful, 
vv^hile the mineral development was not dreamed of. The people in that por- 
tion of Nebraska south of the Platte made a vigorous effort to be included 
in the state of Kansas, but the Wyandotte constitutional convention ex- 
cluded them. 

God forbid that I should present these figures as the only results of the 
seed sown by the pioneers of the '50's, or that a mercenary touch should 
overshadow the spirit of loyalty, of state pride, of enthusiasm for home, be- 
queathed by them to native and adopted sons alike. They set a standard of 
citizenship that sent more soldiers into the Union armies during the rebel- 
lion than the state had voters, and that always exceeded quotas without 
bounty, heading the column of mortality with the highest percentage— 61.01 
in 1000, Vermont and Massachusetts following with 58.22 and 47.76, respect- 
ively. In the late war with Spain, the state furnished a regiment which 
commanded the attention of the world, with others that would have done as 
well had opportunity been the same to all. The finest building in every 
Kansas town is a schoolhouse. A distinguished senator, who commanded 
the plaudits of the world for eighteen years, said that once a Kansan, the 
allegiance can never be forsworn; so that the title "formerly of Kansas" 
commands everywhere the profoundest attention, securing to all our boys 
who emigrate choice places in all lines of the world's activities. 

Who were the people at that time engaged in the movement to establish 
the state of Kansas ? I hope it will not be treason on this sacred town site, 
watered by the blood of so many martyrs, and battered on all sides by foes un- 
til the heroic character of Lawrence is established the world over, to say that 
they were overwhelmingly Middle states and Western people. We have no 
count for 1854. Reeder's census, ■' in February, 1855, shows a population of 8601, 
of whom 408 were foreigners, 151 free negroes, and 192 slaves. There were 
2905 voters. I find the statement that in Lawrence, in January, 1855, there 

Note 8.— The Northern Cheyennes, under the leadership of Dull Knife, made a raid across 
the state in September and October, 1878, during Gov. George T. Anthony's administration, in 
which more than forty men were murdered and many women captured. 

Note 9.— The census of Kansas as taken during the territorial period : 

1854, May 30. " I infer it is the white population of Kansas that you desire. This informa- 
tion I will give you as nearly as I can. Thei'e were three military posts at this period, Leaven- 
worth, Riley, and Fort Scott. [ The latter fort was dismantled, 1853-'55.] Fort Riley was built 
during the years 1852-'53. I have not now any means of ascertaining the number of employees at 
those forts. I visited and was employed at two government stations during that period, and I 
have made an estimate of all the school and missionary stations at that time, including mission- 
aries, teachers, traders, mechanics, squaw-men, etc., and give it, as nearly as can now be ascer- 
tained, as about 1200 men, women, and children. About one-half of this number were single 
men. There were no settlers upon the public lands prior to 1854. The territory at that time was 
covered all over with Indian reservations, and no white settlers were permitted to settle upon the 
lands. A few squaw-men and half-breeds who were lawfully in the Indian country had taken a 
few claims, perhaps fifty or more such. Those names Mr. Cone gives are of these classes. I 
recognize among them Pottawatomie and Kaw names." — T. S. Huffaker, Council Grove, October 
SO, 1905. 

1855, January 15. As provided by the organic act of May 30, 1854, census enumerators were 



130 Kansas State Historical Society. 

were 80 residences, '" with from 5 to 20 occupants each. Another account gives 
you credit for 400 aboHtionists. Notwithstanding the census count of 2905 
voters in the whole territory in Febi'uary, in the following month of March, 
5427 pro-slavery, 791 free-state and 89 scattering votes were cast. In April, 
1857, Secretary Stanton made another count, and found a population of 25,- 
321, with five counties making no returns. The census of June, 1859, gives 
Lawrence township a total population of 3351; number of voters, 1079; 
heads of families not voters, 26; number of minors, 2239; negroes, 7." 
There seems to have been no other count, except of voters, until the fed- 
eral census of 1860. The vote'-' on the Wyandotte constitution, and for 
delegate to Congress, October 4, 1859, seems to have been an orderly one, 
amounting to 15,951 for and against the constitution, and 16,949 total vote for 
delegate. In 1860 the census showed a population in the territory of 107,206, 
of whom 12,691 were born in foreign countries. This gave a population of 
94,513 native-born Americans. In the census of 1860, the state of Ohio led, 
with 11,617 natives in Kansas; Missouri followed, with 11,356; Kansas comes 
in third, with 10,997 babies; Indiana is fourth, with 9945, and Illinois fifth, 
with 9367; Kentucky was next, with 6556; Pennsylvania, 6463; New York, 
6331; and Iowa with 4008. The six New England states led Iowa, with 
4208. The tenth state was the two Virginias, with 3487. The list continues: 
No. 11, Tennessee, with 2569; No. 12, Wisconsin, with 1351; No. 13, Massa- 
chusetts, 1282; No. 14, North Carolina, 1234; No. 15, Michigan, 1137; No. 
16, Vermont, 902; No. 17, Maine, 728; No. 18, Connecticut, 650; No. 19, 
Maryland, 620; No. 20, New Jersey, 499. Daniel W. Wilder, who worked 
out these figures, himself a Massachusetts man, says: "But nearly all the 
states that contributed largely to Kansas in the early and later years were 

appointed by Governor Reeder. ( Kan. State Hist. Sec. Col., vol. 3, p. 247.) Returns. (Rept. of 
Cong. Inves. Com., 1856, pp. 9, 30.) 

1857, February 19. An act to provide for the taking a census, and election for delegates to a 
convention. ( Laws 1857, p. 60.) Returns. {Henthl of Freedom, Lawrence, May 30, 1857. i "Cen- 
sus of Douglas County," a broadside containing the names of 552 electors, arranged by town- 
ships, dated May 9, 1857. 

1857. Census taken under provisions of the Topeka legislature in the summer of 1857. as 
mentioned in letter of T. J. Marsh to George L. Stearns. Lawrence, K. T., July 18. 1857 : " The work 
of census taking has not been completed. Some 50,000 inhabitants have been returned. The 
number of voters is much larger in proportion to the whole number of inhabitants than with 
us. As an instance, I saw one return of the numbering of a township thus : Voters, 1584 ; total, 
3008. The census will be continued. It is said there is a large portion not yet taken. "i 

1858, January 21. An act to provide for taking a census in certain districts. (Laws of 1858. 
p. 223.) "Sec. 2. The following persons are hereby appointed commissioners to take such census, 
viz.: Scott J. Anthony and Columbus Crane, for the township of Kickapoo ; Benj. F. Dare and 
Chas. Mayo, for the township of O.xford ; Chas. Mayo and Samuel M. Cornatzer, for the township 
of Shawnee: Dr. J. Eagles and Caleb Woodworth, jr., for the township of Walnut ; J. C. Danford 
and Wm. Emerson, for the townships of Tate and Potosi : A. G. Barrett and Dan C. Auld, for the 
county of Marshall ; and Wm. R. Griffith, for the county of McGee, who, before entering upon 
the discharge of their duties, shall take an oath faithfully to discharge their duties under the 
provisions of this act." — Laws 18.58, p. 224. [Have not yet found returns of this census.] 

1859, February 11. An act providing for taking a census. (General Laws 1859, p. 78.) Re- 
turns. I House Journal, special session, 1860, pp. 35-39. i " The returns, as reported by the gov- 
ernor, show a partial and incorrect census, as taken in the month of June, 1859, since which time 
the immigration into Kansas has been unprecedented. The whole amount of population, as re- 
ported by the governor at the regular session ( January 3, 1859 ), was 71,770 : to which, if we add 
the calculation, as estimated in the foregoing counties partially returned, and from which we 
have no return, the population, up to the 1st day of July, 1859, would amount to about to 107,570, 
in which is not included a large number of the most populous counties, from which there have 
been only a part of the townships returned to the executive."— Report of Committee on Elections, 
in House Journal, special session, 1860, p. 425. 

1860. United States census, voL 1, pp. 158-167. 

Note 10. — The Webb Scrap-books are responsible for much of this miscellaneous information. 
Note 11. — House Journal, special session, 1860, p. 37. 
Note 12.— Wilder's Annals, pp. 281, 282. 



Early Days in Kansas. 131 

connected with us by river navigation. These states were Pennsylvania, 
Ohio, Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Indiana, Illinois, Arkansas, Missouri, 
and Iowa. These states and their rivers made Kansas." 

From an address by John A. Anderson before the teachers' institutes in 
1879, I quote: "From this standpoint (meaning that the Western man is 
better fitted for pioneer work), please scan the proportions in which our 
population came from other states to Kansas, as enumerated in the census 
of 1875: Out of each 100 Kansans, there came from New England 1, from 
New York 2, Pennsylvania 3, Ohio 6, Kentucky 2, Indiana 7, lUinois 17, and 
Missouri 14. These states may be termed the agricultural spine of the na- 
tion, both because of climatic position and the order of their settlement. 
From Michigan came 2, Wisconsin 2, Minnesota 1, Iowa 9, and Nebraska 1. 
These are the ribs, and of later growth. Other groupings show that the 
Atlantic slope, embracing New England, New York, Pennsylvania, New 
Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, the Carolinas, Georgia, Florida, and 
Alabama, all told, furnished 7, and the great basin (meaning the region be- 
tween the Alleghany and the Rocky Mountains), 83. The slave states fur- 
nished 19 and the free states 76. Foreign countries sent 5 and the United 
States 95." 

The federal census of 1900 gave us 630,321 native-born Kansans. Illinois 
followed, with 113,704, and Missouri next, with 100,814. The six New Eng- 
land states in 1900 had 11,857 natives in Kansas, and of this number 3433 
came from Massachusetts. 

So the illusion that has always existed that Kansas is a Yankee state is 
dispelled. 

This disclaimer, however, does not evidence any lack of pride by us in 
the connection the Yankees had with the beginnings of Kansas. It will 
probably never be a question whether Kansas would have been saved from 
slavery without the agitation and money of New England. Upon the pas- 
sage of the Kansas-Nebraska bill the free states and the slave states began 
to organize to open battle in Kansas. The compromise measure of 1820 
made Kansas free soil, and the undoubted purpose of the act of May 30, 
1854, was to facilitate the introduction of slavery into this territory. The 
South claimed Kansas as its own, but that region was no match in resources 
to the North, led by New England. The South could not raise funds as did 
the North, and organization in its interest was almost entirely limited to the 
border counties of Missouri. However, in John Sherman's scrap-book is a 
letter dated New Orleans, June 4, 1856, addressed "To the North," and 
signed "J. H. J.," in which it is said: "The South has sent more than 
$200,000 already— not to Kansas, but in the border counties of Missouri— and 
will send double that amount in the next three months," the pretext being 
to buy Kansas lands. A speaker in the Alabama legislature said Kansas 
was worth to the South a tax of ten per cent, on the $250,000,000 of slave 
property. Bufordi^ sold forty slaves at an average of $700 each, or $28,000, 
all of which he lost in his Kansas movement. I see frequent statements in 
the Southern papers that he obtained all the money he desired, but the sub- 
scription lists to be found seem to be short. The various organizations and 
movements in the North and South to raise money for Kansas will always 
be of interest, and some day of persistent investigation. Daniel W. Wilder 

Note 13. — Fleming's "The Buford Expedition," in Am. Hist. Review, vol. 6, October, 1900. 



132 Kansas State Historical Society. 

says that, through all instrumentalities, not less than $250,000 was raised 
in the North for Kansas, and that it was money well spent. 

And yet there is abundance of testimony in the old scrap-books out of 
which I am working to show that the Yankees about Lawrence did it all. 
A Washington writer in the Philadelphia Ledger, as early as December, 1854, 
threw up the sponge, as follows: "In July last (1854) I wrote you that 
Kansas would be a slave state. I am now of a different opinion. The im- 
pertinent and insolent interference of your Eastern fanatics, the colonizing, 
as they have done by hundreds, of the lowest class of rowdies to browbeat 
our voters, and prevent a fair expression of the popular will, has brought 
about this result. They have located themselves near the Kansas river, 
named their city Lawrence, and number, I am told, some hundreds of vot- 
ers. I have seen some of them, and they are the most unmitigated set of 
blackguards I have ever laid my eyes upon. ' ' 

I have said that the story of Kansas has been told and told, and only half 
known. The position I occupy is a remarkable one from which to view and 
contemplate the dimensions of Kansas and the activity of her people. The 
founders of the State Historical Society gave it a breadth of foundation and 
purpose, resulting in a collection the scope of which is little realized by the 
public. The factional and controversial feature of our history has obscured 
much of this material. It will be of use in determining matters after all 
the participants have gone to glory. I am a hopeful sort of an individual— 
have been in Kansas so long that I know the best will always happen. 

About two years ago the widow of George L. Stearns, while on her death- 
bed, made up a bundle of her husband's correspondence and sent it to the 
State Historical Society. There are many letters of great historical value, 
and some eight or ten financial statements. Three statements, that I con- 
clude are not duplicates, show an expenditure for Kansas from July 1, 1856, 
to July 1, 1857, of $74,654. One is that of P. T. Jackson in account with 
the Massachusetts State Kansas Committee, another of James Hunne- 
well, treasurer of the Middlesex County Kansas Aid Committee; the third 
statement shows where $48,116.04 of the money came from, as follows: 
Massachusetts, $44,817.39; Maine, $785.37; New Hampshire, $933.99; New 
York city, $845.34; South Carolina, $5; Great Britain, $491; British prov- 
inces, $5, and unknown, $235. 

Prof. William H. Carruth made a valuable statement in the sixth volume 
of the Historical Collections of the operations of the New England Emigrant 
Aid Company, and other schemes to raise money, giving interest to this 
question of funds for Kansas. The letters to Mr, Stearns are from well- 
known Kansans, contributing much light on how things were done then. 
Many thousands of dollars were shipped to firms in St. Louis and Chicago; 
toS. C. Pomeroy, E. B. Whitman, S. N. Simpson, and M. F. Conway; scores 
of items are in these names, but mostly marked for some one else. The 
fund about which Mrs. Stearns has furnished the Historical Society so many 
papers differs from the others in that there seems to have been a special 
agent sent out from Boston to look after it and report conditions. His name 
was Thomas J. Marsh. He arrived in the territory July 12, and returned 
to New England about October 1, 1857. Thei'e are ten of his letters written 
during that time. I quote from his letter of July 18: "I think this is an 
important time for the future of Kansas. The people here are earnest, 
though they are apparently quiet and at their business. They need help. 



Early Days in Kansas. 133 

As an evidence of this earnestness let me say, that in the convention [free- 
state convention at Topeka, July 15 and 16, 1857, to nominate candidates 
under the Topeka constitution], were men who had to ride more than 100 
miles from the extremes to the place of meeting, and this, not by railroad 
conveyance, but on horseback, very many of them, with the thermometer 
ranging all the time from 95 to 110 degrees, and consuming, including the 
two days occupied by the meeting, not less than from a week to ten days' 
time." 

July 21, 1857, Mr. Marsh wrote a lengthy letter in which appears this : 
" The committee have their plans matured, and speakers engaged for the 
coming election, and all their meetings notified ; a good vote will be polled 
in August. I called upon George W. Brown this morning, I beheve I have 
now seen all the apparently hostile chiefs. Mr. Brown, I think, is well dis- 
posed. There may be some personal matters not entirely settled, but I trust 
and believe they will all be deferred until all of the elections have been held. 
I told Mr. Brown, as I have told the others, that their differences were 
a source of grief to all their friends East ; no matter who was right or who 
was wrong, they were furnishing aid and comfort to their enemies and 
sorrow to their friends. That friends at home, nor myself, would have only 
one feeling, one wish to express, and that was union of all the friends in 
Kansas, for the freedom of Kansas." 

Who can overestimate the importance, in determining the future of Kan- 
sas, of this interesting piece of New England bossism, through a special 
agent, in rounding up the local bosses, whose petty quarrels threatened to 
destroy all effort ? New England was justified in sending a special agent to 
boss the job, since she was putting up the stuff. 

But this is not the only evidence showing that the boss was paramount 
in those days. A Washington letter to the New York Times in December, 
1857, says: "The agent of the administration, who represented them in 
Kansas during the sitting of the [Lecompton] convention, was Henry S. 
Martin, a shrewd and intelligent Mississippian, then and now clerk in the 
interior department under Secretary Thompson. Martin was constantly 
present at the convention caucuses, and it was chiefly through his repre- 
sentation and influence that the convention determined on only a partial 
submission of the constitution to the people. As the agent of the adminis- 
tration his credentials were strengthened by the fact that he was at the 
same time a clerk in the government service, and his influence was para- 
mount. Except for his interference it is fully believed that the Judge El- 
more party, who favored a free submission of the constitution, would have 
triumphed. It was Martin's dispatch to Washington, also, which led the 
president and the [Washington] Union to take their positions so early in 
favor of the convention's action." 

And yet what would all this putting up, bossing and scheming have 
amounted to had not a great majority of the settlers gone to work building 
log cabins on their claims and breaking prairie ? 

The campaign which seemed to warrant a special agent from New Eng- 
land to meet the necessity of rounding up the bosses, who were distressing 
friends all over the country, was the first time the two parties met at the 
same ballot-box. From the 29th of November. 1854, until October 5, 1857, 
not quite three years, the people of the territory had twelve elections, eleven 
of them without force. The pro-slavery people obtained control of the terri- 



134 Kansas State Historical Society. 

torial organization by fraudulent votes, they polling 5427 votes March 30, 1855, 
when the census taken in February, 1855, reported only 2905 voters, and so 
the free-state people refused to recognize the pro-slavery authorities, and 
attempted to start another organization. At the second election,'^ March 
30, 1855, there w^ere 781 pro-slavery votes polled at Lawrence and 253 free- 
state, ^^ while on October 5, 1857, there were 906 free-state and 11 pro-slav- 
ery. Of the twelve "• elections, five were held under the Topeka constitution 
and seven under the bogus government. In the last election, October 5, 
1857, Gov. Robert J. Walker had induced the free-state people to participate, 
under the pledge of fair play. It was the purpose of the Grasshopper Falls 
convention '" to consider this question of the free-state men voting. It was 
unanimously decided for the free-state party that they would make the ef- 
fort to capture the territorial organization. It was in this effort New Eng- 
land was so specially interested. The free-state party won'^ by a vote of 
7888 to 3799, a majority of 4089. They elected a majority in both branches 
of the legislature, the council standing nine free-state and four ])ro-slavery 
and the house twenty-four free-state and fifteen pro-slavery. But the pro- 
slavery people had the apportionment fixed so that if the Oxford fraud had 
prevailed there would have been a change of three councilmen and eight 
members of the house, which would have given a pro-slavery majority in 
both houses. Governor Walker and Secretary Stanton, however, kept their 
pledges of fair play and threw out the returns of Oxford. There were 1628 
votes ^'' polled at Oxford for legislative candidates, when only 124, probably 
all legitimate, were cast for township officers. It was generally understood 
at Lecompton that Secretary Stanton refused certificates of election based 
on the Oxford vote with a pistol pointed at his breast. This was the turn- 
ing-point. 

Here is another letter, by Thos. J. Marsh, addressed to George L. Stearns, 
Esq., dated Lawrence, August 7, 1857, and marked private: "I understand 
Mr. E. B. Whitman is going to start for the East on Monday [the 10th], 
and as the proper disposal of the money entrusted to my care in some meas- 
ure depends upon the fact of no other persons knowing anything about the 
amount but myself that from time to time may be sent me, I hope you will 
not deem it wise to communicate to him any information in regard to it ex- 
cept generally. Money is wanted for all purposes. I pay such bills and 
such only as I think you will approve. I have not nor do I intend to en- 
courage any expenditures that do not seem to be absolutely necessary." 

August 11 he writes an important letter full of advice concerning the 
Grasshopper Falls convention, called for August 26. closing with the follow- 
ing paragraph: "You mention the request of the committee that Judge 
[Martin F.] Conway be constantly employed so long as there is anything to 
be done. The judge is engaged in the military organization, acting in the 

Note 14.- Rept. of Cong. Inves. Com., 1856, pp. 30-33. 

Note 15. — Herald of Freedom, October 10. 1857, gives this at Lawrence, March 30, 1855, as 
1050 pro-slavery and 225 free-state. 

Note 16.— Kan. Hist. Soc. Col., vol. 7. pp. 141. 142. 

Note 17.— Wilder's Annals, 1886, p. 176 : also, letter of T. J. Marsh to George L. Stearns, d. 
Lawrence, K. T., Sept. 7, 1857. 

Note 18.- Wilder's Annals, 1886, p. 194. 

Note 19.- Id., pp. 194, 195. 



Early Days in Kansas. 135 

capacity of adjutant-general. If there is no voting done, the organization 
falls. Mr. Redpath is assistant to Conway, and Mr. Whitman is quarter- 
master. I could not promise them money for salaries or other expenses 
unless authorized so to do. Judge Conway told me before the August elec- 
tion that he was going to Osawatomie to speak, if he could get a team. I 
gave him twenty dollars. He started, lost the way, and did not arrive in 
time. He spoke at another place. " 

In a postscript to a letter about the Grasshopper Falls convention, dated 
August 27, 1857, he says: "Governor Robinson has just handed me $200, to 
be used for the free-state cause, forwarded by Amos A. Lawrence, Esq. " In 
another letter, dated September 7, appears this: "I have paid out for vari- 
ous services, $744.80; by far the larger part was for the census, and the 
balance for the August election. My own expenses driving about here and 
my expenses coming here will make about $100 more, besides my board, so 
that I shall not have more than $550 for present use. There is a man here, 
missionary for the Democracy; he is very polite. I am satisfied he is a 
little too leaky for his employers or for his own success. ' ' Among the pa- 
pers are Marsh's board bills, $80, and laundry, $10, receipted by Robert 
Morrow. 

Marsh was a Know Nothing politician, of New Hampshire antecedents. 
In 1858 Governor Banks made him superintendent of the Tewksbury alms- 
house. In this job he and his family lost their reputations. A correspondent 
of the Historical Society says Marsh was pecuniarily honest and was of good 
repute in 1857. The trouble seems mostly to have been with his boys. He 
was the first Kansas boss, for he seems to have rounded up our "chiefs" in 
good shape at the right time, and yet he was here but ten weeks, and his 
name appears but once in printed Kansas history.-" 

In this collection of letters there are many also from E. B. Whitman to 
George L. Stearns. Politically Whitman's letters are cheerful and instruct- 
ive, but financially quite doleful. October 11, 1857, he writes: "Yesterday 
I was obliged to borrow $350 at five per cent, per month, to meet some 
freight payments. If it does not arrive soon I shall be deeply in trouble 
again. Money is very scarce here, and I do not know but that we shall all 
have to stop payment. Mr. Marsh has returned, leaving us to foot the bills 
for the organization. I cannot learn that he paid any bills at all of this 
description." October 25 Whitman writes that the results of a draft had 
failed to arrive in St. Louis. "Indeed," he says, "I do feel uneasy. Is it 
possible that I am after all to be disappointed? Here I am with an enter- 

NoTE 20.— "Thomas J. Marsh, a gentleman of integrity and organizing ability, was selected 
as agent, and he left for Kansas on the 2d day of July, where he remained till after the October 
election. Arriving at Lawrence, he attended a conference of leading men met to consider the 
question of voting at the October election. The situation was not hopeful nor were the men as- 
sembled confident of success. Mr. Marsh stated to them that he had been sent by the friends of 
free Kansas in the East with from S30C0 to $4000 to aid in organizing the territoi-y to carry, if 
possible, both branches of the legislature in October. Encouraged by this proffered assistance, 
the conference agreed to press upon the free-state convention, soon to be held, the importance of 
securing, if attainable, the legislature. Mr. Marsh attended the convention, but he found the 
delegates much disheartened. The people were poor, many had been murdered, others had been 
despoiled, a malignant typhoid fever was prevailing, and many were sick and dying. It was cer- 
tain, too, that there would be a large failure of their crops. They felt that political power was 
wholly in the hands of their enemies, whose plans were matured, and who were confident, boast- 
ful, and insolent. ' But for all that,' said Mr. Marsh in a letter to Mr. Wilson, ' it was one of the 
grandest conventions I ever attended. An influence went out from it which was felt in every 
part of the territory. From that time the work went steadily on ; conventions and neighborhood 
meetings were held everywhere until the day of the election. Under the circumstances, no po- 
litical contest in this country will compare with it. I shall never forget how they labored and 
what sacrifices they made. But they triumphed and saved the territory to freedom.' " — Wilson's 
Rise and Fall of the Slave Power in America, vol. 2, 1876, p. 539. 



136 Kansas State Historical Society. 

prise of magnitude and importance on my hands, with expenses to a large 
amount already incurred, my own personal obligation given for money bor- 
rowed on the strength of the arrival of this. The money was on deposit, as 
I supposed, when I left, and no intimation was given me that there could be 
a delay. Is it possible that the parties making the collection in Boston have 
appropriated it to their own use? Do investigate and write me at once, if 
you have any bowels of compassion." Whitman borrowed $500 for John 
Brown, giving his personal obligation, and this was ti'oubling him. October 
25 he says: "I am willing to work, wear out, die, if need be, in the cause, 
but I cannot make bricks always without straw." 

The Historical Society possesses hundreds of such letters, and from them 
and the newspaper clippings some writer will, some day, revise and greatly 
revive and freshen Kansas history. The letters of Whitman and Marsh will 
some day be published, as also a fine collection from many leading states- 
men of that period addressed to Charles Robinson, furnished by Sara T. D. 
Robinson. 

It might be well to look and see if there were any friends in those trying 
times who have not been remembered. In the bitterness coming out of ten 
years of war on the border, we have believed, and taught our children to be- 
lieve, that no good could come out of western Missouri. Time modifies all 
views and controversies, and a little search in the marvelous collection in 
the State-house at Topeka makes the fact stand out that across the line 
there were heroes who stood up for the rights of the people coming to Kan- 
sas, regardless of their views on the slavery question. 

The first expression was in Salt Creek valley, about three miles west of 
Fort Leavenworth, in March, 1854, when it was resolved,-' "That we will 
afford protection to no abolitionist as a settler of Kansas territory. ' ' Next, 
at Weston, a reward-- of $200 was offered for Eli Thayer. On the 20th of 
July, 1854,--' a resolution was adopted at a meeting held at Weston, and 
signed by B. F. Stringfellow, and known as the Bayliss resolution, declar- 
ing "That this association will, whenever called upon by any of the citizens 
of Kansas territory, hold itself in readiness to go there to assist in remov- 
ing any and all emigrants who go there under the auspices of the Northern 
emigration aid societies." Did this stand as the sentiment of the people of 
Weston, or was there any to protest? On the 1st of September, 1854,-^ be- 
fore there was any trouble at Lawrence, or elsewhere in the territory, a 
mass meeting of the citizens of Weston was held, and the following expres- 
sion adopted: 

"Whereas, Our rights and privileges, as citizens of Weston, Platte 
county, Missouri, have been disregarded, infringed upon and grievously vio- 
lated within the last few weeks by certain members of the Platte County 
Self-defensive Association; and 

"Whereas, The domestic quiet of our families, the sacred honor of our 
sons and daughters, the safety of our property, the security of our living 
and persons, the 'good name' our fathers left us, the 'good name' of us all 
—and the city of our adoption— are each and all disrespected and vilely as- 
persed and contemptuously threatened with mob violence, wherefore, it 

Note 21.— Webb Scrap-books, vol. 1, p. 43. 
Note 22.- Id., vol. 1, p. 46. 
Note 23.— Id., vol. 1, p. 104. 
Note 24.— Id., vol. 1, p. II4V2. 



Early Days in Kansas. 137 

is imperatively demanded that we, in mass meeting assembled, on this, the 
1st day of September, A. D. 1854, do make prompt, honorable, effective and 
immediate defense of our rights and privileges as citizens of this glorious 
Union: therefore, 

''Resolved (1), That we, whose names are hereunto affixed, are order- 
loving and law-abiding citizens. 

"Resolved (2), That we are Union men. We love the South much, but we 
love the Union better. Our motto is, the Union first, the Union second, and 
the Union forever. 

"Resolved (3), That we disapprove the Bayliss resolution as containing 
nullification, disunion, and disorganizing sentiments. 

"Resolved (4), That we, as consumers, invite and solicit our merchants to 
purchase their goods wherever it is most advantageous to the buyer and the 
consumer. 

"Resolved (5), That we hold every man as entitled to equal respect and 
confidence until his conduct proves him unworthy of the same. 

"Resolved (6), That we understand the 'Douglas bill' as giving all the 
citizens of this confederacy equal rights and equal immunities in the terri- 
tories of Kansas and Nebraska. 

"Resolved (7), That we are believers in the dignity of labor; it does not 
necessarily detract from the moral nor intellectual character of men. 

"Resolved (8), That we are competent to judge who shall be expelled from 
our community, and who shall make laws for our corporation. 

"Resolved (9), That mere suspicion is not a ground of guilt; mob law 
can only be tolerated when all other law fails, and then only on proof of 
guilt. 

' 'Resolved ( 10th and lastly) , That certain members of the Platte County 
Self-defensive Association have proclaimed and advocated and attempted 
to force measures upon us contrary to the foregoing principles, which meas- 
ures we do solemnly disavow and disapprove, and utterly disclaim, as being 
diametrically opposed to common and constitutional law, and as having 
greatly disturbed and well-nigh destroyed the order, the peace and the 
harmony of our families and community, and as being but too well calcu- 
lated seriously to injure us in our property and character, both at home and 
abroad. We will thus ever disavow and disclaim. ' ' 

This is signed by 174 citizens of Weston, and is a printed broadside in the 
Webb collection of newspaper clippings. The only name that can be iden- 
tified to-day signed to this protest is that of H. Miles Moore, still living at 
Leavenworth. Mention of this protest was made in the New York Tribune 
in October, the letter being dated Fort Leavenworth, September 18, 1854. 

It seems that David R. Atchison was a roaring lion on the border seek- 
ing whom he might devour. He was at the head of a gang of ruffians called 
the Platte City regulators. They destroyed the press of the Parkville 
Luminary April 14, 1855, and drove the proprietor, George S. Park, away 
from home because of some criticism of pro-slavery action in Kansas. In a 
short time Park returned to look after some private business, when the mob 
arose again and demanded that he go. He offered to do anything manly or 
honorable to avoid the shedding of blood. A committee of citizens who had 
the care of Park asked the mob if they were satisfied, and they responded 
"No," that Park had to leave. Fielding Burns, one of the committee, re- 
sponded: "Then let the principle be settled in blood. We ask the honors of 
war. Set your day and we will meet you, but don't sneak down in the 
night. Come openly, and blood will flow as freely as in the Mexican war. 
We fight for principle, for right." W. H. Summers, another member of 
the committee said: "Let them come, and the streets of Parkville will be 
hotter than hell in fifteen minutes ! " A vigorous protest was addressed to 



138 Kansas State Historical Society. 

the world by the citizens of Parkville, in behalf of freedom of action in 
Kansas, signed by a committee of eleven.-"" 

The "Annals of Platte County," by W. M. Paxton, says the result of 
this outrage on Park was to bring a myriad of anti-slavery settlers to Kan- 
sas, and of Park it says: "He became a great capitalist, and returned to 
his old home to bless and enrich the very men who had conspired for his 
ruin. He, from the wealth thrust upon him by his enemies, founded Park 
College, the grandest and noblest educational enterprise in the West. His 
dust now reposes at the very spot whence he was banished in life, and a 
colossal marble monument to his honor overlooks the place where his press 
was submerged. How unsearchable are God's judgments, and ' His ways 
are past finding out.' " 

The mayor and councilmen of the city of Weston, May 19, 1855, protested '-'■ 
against the outrage committed in the streets of their city on William Phil- 
lips, who was taken from Leavenworth and sold by a negro at auction in 
Weston. 

The St. Louis Intelligencer, which was filled from day to day with con- 
stant and bitter attacks on the pro-slavery leaders in Missouri, August 30, 
1855, published a lengthy article on "The Suicide of Slavery, "-' from which 
I take a few lines: 

"Any man of sense could have foreseen this result— Alabama and Georgia 
may hold public meetings and resolve to sustain the slaveholders of Mis- 
souri in making Kansas a slave state. But their resolutions comprise all 
their aid— which is not 'material' enough for the crisis. When slavehold- 
ers of Alabama and Georgia emigrate they go to Louisiana, Arkansas, and 
Texas. They do not come with their slaves to Missouri or to Kansas. Call 
they that backing their friends? 

"The result is that Kansas, the finest land under the sun, is neglected 
and idle; occupied by a few honest and earnest but disheartened pioneers, 
and lorded over by a dozen or two feudal tyrants of Missouri, who curse by 
their presence the land they have desolated. 

"Such is Kansas— poor, neglected, and despised— and western- Missouri 
stands infected by the horrible contagion of outlawry, and dwindles away 
under the moral leprosy of its mobocratic leaders! 

"These are the bitter fruits of the repeal of the Missouri compromise— a 
wicked and wrongful deed — that will yet bring a hell of bitter self- reproaching 
to its authors. Missouri did not demand that repeal. The South never asked 
it. Atchison solicited it— and in a moment of political insanity the South 
consented to the wrong, and made the wrong her own. This was the suicide 
of slavery. 

"Atchison and Stringfellow, with their Missouri followers, overwhelmed 
the settlers in Kansas, browbeat and bullied them, and took the government 
from their hands. Missouri votes elected the present body of men who 
insult public intelligence and popular rights by styling themselves 'the leg- 
islature of Kansas. ' This body of men are helping themselves to fat specu- 
lations by locating the 'seat of government' and getting town lots for their 
votes. They are passing laws disfranchising all the citizens of Kansas who 
do not believe negro slavery to be a Christian institution and a national 
blessing. They are proposing to punish with imprisonment the utterance 
of views inconsistent with their own. And they are trying to perpetuate 
their preposterous and infernal tyranny by appointing, for a term of years, 
creatures of their own as commissioners in every county, to lay and collect 
taxes and see that the laws they are passing are faithfully executed. Has 
this age anything to compare with these acts in audacity? 

Note 25.— Webb Scrap-books, vol. 6, pp. 207-236. 

Note 26.— St. Louis Evening News, June 4, 1855, in Webb Scrap-books, vol. 4, p. 137. 

Note 27. — Webb Scrap-books, vol. 5, p. 79. 



Early Days in Kansas. 139 

"It has been the common opinion of thoughtless persons and thick-headed 
buUies of the West that the Northern and Eastern men will not fight. They 
would rather work— plow, build towns, railways, make money, and raise 
families— than fight. But fight they will, if need be. Remember, the sons 
of New England shed the first blood in the American revolution ; and they 
were the last to furl their flags in that terrible struggle. They have never 
disgraced their country by cowardice, and they will not. They are Ameri- 
cans, with spirit, courage, endurance, and deep love of liberty to animate 
them. The free-state men in Kansas will fight before they will be disfran- 
chised and trampled on. Mark the word. 

"Here comes, then, the suicide of slavery. The outrages committed by 
Atchison and his fellows in the repeal of the Missouri compromise, and by 
Stringfellow and his followers in subjugating Kansas to non-resident rule, 
will bring on a collision, first in Congress and then in Kansas— and who shall 
tell the end? 

"Slavery will never sustain itself in a border state by the sword. It may 
conquer in some respects; but it can never 'conquer a peace.' Never! 
never! Once light the fires of internecine war in defense of slavery, and it 
will perish while you defend it. Slaveholders will not stay to meet the fight. 
Property is timid, and the slaves will be sent to Texas to be in 'a safe place ' 
while the fight lasts; and as soon as the slaves are gone, it will be found 
that Missouri has nothing to fight about, and the fight will end 'before it 
begins ! ' 

"Thus the slavery propagandists who repealed the Missouri compromise 
to make Kansas a slave state will make Missouri free, and, in endeavoring 
to expel abolition from Kansas, they will fill both Kansas and Missouri with 
an entire free white population, worth more to the two states than all the 
negroes in America. 

"Is not the Kansas outrage the suicide of slavery?" 

The committee appointed by the Grasshopper Falls convention, August 
26, 1857,-8 fourteen in number, James H. Lane, chairman, says: "We desire 
to be understood that the people of Kansas do not charge the outrages to 
which they have been subjected to the people of Missouri as a body. On the 
contrary, they know that the masses of the people have not joined in these 
outrages, but have remained at home and have denounced the invaders." 

The semicentennial period, which has closed upon Kansas, has been the 
most interesting which has fallen to the lot of any portion of the American 
people. The settlement and development of a state like Kansas, the mighty 
issue involved in its inception, and the world-wide results which came from 
the struggle precipitated from without upon these prairies, gave to the pio- 
neers and later citizens of the state a proud position in the history of the 
world. The first to open the way were moved by faith, not only in the 
moral and political principles which impelled so many thitherward, but to 
invest in agricultural implements and household goods looking to the mate- 
rial outcome of this region, then an unknown quantity. It is said that Buford's 
company of Southern emigrants, in 1856, were an expense to the people of 
Kansas City ( Benjamin F. Stringfellow raised $500 for them ) , whereas, a 
Connecticut party, moving in simultaneously, expended $6000 in St. Louis, 
and $4000 more in Kansas City, for implements and groceries.-" Hearing 
that Atchison was very busy with his ' ' Lone Star Order ' ' and ' ' Blue Lodges, ' ' 

Note 2%.— Herald of Freedom. September 12, 1857. 

Note 29.— One of Buford's men wrote from Franklin, Kan., the 6th of July, 1856. to the 
Mobile Tribune (Webb Scrap-books, vol. 15, p. 213), stating that not one-seventh of Buford's 
company remained in the territory. He says : "Most of the others have returned home to hang 
around their mothers' apron-strings, leaving the energetic and persevering Yankees to rule Kan- 
zas. Yes, these men, the ' flower of Southern chivalry,' the men on whom the South relied to 
vindicate her rights, and for whose support liberal subscriptions were made, the men whom the 
Missourians welcomed with outspread arms and open purse, have proved false just at the time 
when they should have stood ready to do or die for Southern rights. Having seen Kanzas, hav- 



140 Kansas State Historical Society. 

practicing military drills for an invasion of the territory, thirteen merchants 
of Lawrence made an appeal to the chamber of commerce '" of St. Louis, 
January 30, 1856, for peace and protection, stating that the people of Law- 
rence had expended in their city in less than a year over $100,000 for goods, 
and friends in the territory nearly $1,000,000. Paul R. Brooks, of Lawrence, 
and George W. Hutchinson, of Marceline, Mo., are the only ones living who 

ing spent their money in dissipation, when the time for work and enduring hardships came on, 
they struck for home, to disparage the country, to denounce Colonel Buford, and. what is worse, 
to desert and leave unprotected the rights of the South." 

The St. Louis News, about July 24, 1856, tells of the return of Major Buford to Alabama. 
(Webb Scrap-books, vol. 15, p. 111.) It says : "Major Buford passed through this city not long 
ago on his way to Alabama, and it is said he is so disgusted with the Kansas business that he 
will have nothing more to do with it. He tried to get his men to settle on preemption claims, be- 
come steady citizens, so as to secure him for the sums of money he had paid out for them. But 
the men could not be induced to do it. They preferred roaming over the country in organized 
bands, depending on their too hospitable friends in Kansas and Missouri for the means of sup- 
port. These friends are becoming tired of them, and no doubt desire their departure. They 
have done nothing for themselves, nothing for their commander, and nothing for the cause of 
the South in Kansas." 

Page 224, volume 15, Lawrence letter, dated July 23, says: "The funds collected for their 
support have become e.xhausted." 

Note 30.— The following is the protest in full, published February 23, 1856, and found in 
Webb Scrap-books, volume 9, page 198 (William Hutchinson wrote the paper; B. W. Wood- 
ward was on the committee ; the third member has passed from memory) : 

"To the Chaynher of Commerce at St. Louis: While all the American constitutions regard 
government as based upon the expressed or tacit consent of the governed and the supreme power 
of state as always residing in the people, it is not essential to a pure democracy that its powers 
should be delegated to executive or legislative agents, but exigencies may arise wherein the 
high moral trust may be e.xercised by the sovereign people in conserving their own rights and 
liberties in the absence of official agents. Such an exigency has now arisen with us, in which the 
supremacy of the popular will must be recognized, for securing our own happiness against for- 
eign abuses — in defending the right and repelling the wrong. 

" You must be already aware that while without an outward, operative government of our 
own. while we were weak in numbers, wealth, and all the requisites for the administration of 
justice, our soil has been repeatedly invaded by armed bands as well as organized armies from 
your state, who, without provocation or the slightest pretext, have murdered our peaceable citi- 
zens, destroyed our ballot-bo.xes, pillaged our property, blockaded our towns, and threatened 
them with demolition and their inhabitants with death, and that it has only been through the 
most unparalleled forbearance, in some instances, and manly defense of our inherent rights in 
others, that we have escaped a most deadly civil war. Recent reports have come to us that there 
is another extensive organization in your state which is preparing for a future attack upon our 
towns, and that recruiting officers are moving to and fro enrolling men in several counties, who 
go through with daily military drill for the same unlawful purpose. We have committed no 
crime, violated the international faith toward no state, but have ever sought to maintain the 
sanctity of the most peaceful relations toward all men. 

"We came to Kansas because we believed it possessed the most inviting climate, luxuriant 
soil and enchanting scenery now open to emigrants upon this continent. We came to build up 
for ourselves and our childx-en beautiful homes, where, as the inheritance of a free government, 
we and they might enjoy a lifetime, having our hearts filled with the pleasure of domestic joy. 
We have been educated in the schools of peace, and nothing would be more abhorrent to our na- 
tures than to see the smoke of battle curling over these prairies, or to feel again the smart of 
those grievous outrages with which some of your people are said to be threatening us. These 
considerations, gentlemen, prompt us to address you in a commercial capacity. 

"We have chosen a residence in Lawrence, from its unrivaled situation upon the only navig- 
able river in the territory — an indispensable requisite in building up a large commercial city. 
We have erected suitable stores for a wholesale and retail trade, and have already secured a very 
flattering business with the interior counti-y. Although it is but little more than twelve months 
since the first store was erected here, yet we have already paid to your state over $100,000, a large 
proportion of which has gone to your city, and the trade of our entire territory with your state 
thus far has been nearly one million dollars. This circumstance alone has already raised the 
prices of many articles of export in your state from 200 to 500 per cent., and your city is extend- 
ing her levees and enlarging her warerooms in anticipation of our future trade. With an area 
four times as large as your whole state, our prospective business must be at least fully equal to 
that of any other state, and our prosperity, in a commercial sense, has quite as much to do with 
the future greatness of your city as any constructive considerations it is possible to deduce from 
your own state. Geographically, St. Louis is the commercial mart of Kansas for years to come, or, 
until by dint of our own industry and the richness of our soil, manufacturing and commercial 
cities will be built on our own rivers, and even then they will reciprocally add to your enterprise 
and wealth. The chain of all our public interests, therefore, becomes directly linked with yours. 
Our prosperity is yours, our adversity is yours, our invasion is yours, our conquest is yours ; for if, 
by an unnatural and coercive policy on the part of any of your people, we are induced to open new 
thoroughfares for trade with other cities and invest our wealth in opening railroads and tele- 
graphic communication with the same, the weight of your imprudence will recoil only upon your 
own heads, and in due time we shall escape the fiery ordeal unscathed. 

"Although the froward spirit of President Pierce, according to his message, has not yet dis- 
cerned anything in our grievances that 'have occurred under circumstances to justify the in- 
terposition of the federal executive,' we will hope and trust that, so far as the citizens of your 



Early Days in Kansas. 141 

signed the paper. Just five days after this appeal, on February 4, 1856, 
Atchison and Stringfellow made speeches -"i in Platte county, urging an in- 
vasion of the territory, in such reckless and extravagant language as to 
cause one to conclude that in comparison John Brown was of the highest 
order of saneness. And on the 27th of March following, sixty-eight business 
firms in Lawrence called a meeting to consider the breaking open and 
searching of goods in transit on the Missouri river, and an extra tax that 
had been imposed on goods coming up the river, and to remedy the same by 

state are implicated, they have occurred in such a manner as will justify your interposition and 
kindly offices. Like great events casting their shadows forward, the forebodings of the future 
have produced a general paralysis in all departments of business throughout the territory. Our 
trade is not one-third as large as it was three months ago ; mechanics — laborers of all kinds — 
complain alike of the general depression. In the border towns of your state the same want of 
enterprise is observed. Let this continue, and our remittances to your city the coming season 
will be ver>' limited. Emigration is retarded ; consequently no new money is brought into circu- 
lation, and we are cursed, not with war alone, but with 'war, pestilence, and famine.' 

" Our wish is to urge upon you these considerations, and, by virtue of your commercial in- 
fluence throughout the state, ask of you to intercede in our behalf in staying the hand of evil- 
doers, that we may go on developing our greatness and yours, and long enjoy the pleasure of 
those relations we have mutually found thus far so profitable and pleasant. 

G. W. & W. Hutchinson & Co. Ran & Bro. 

HORNSBYS & Ferril. C. Stearns. 

L. M. Cox & Co. Otis Wilmarth. 

W. & C. Duncan. Gaius Jenkins. 

Woodward & Finley. L. H. Brown & Co. 

P. Richmond Brooks. Lyman Allen & Co." 

J. J. Fariss. 

Note 31. — December 6 to 9, 1855, about 1500 Missourians besieged Lawrence. They retired 
in consequence of a treaty of peace between Governor Shannon and Charles Robinson and James 
H. Lane, to which John Brown objected ; the latter wanted to fight. May 21, 1856, Lawrence 
was attacked and much property destroyed. September 15, 1856, an army of 2700 again moved 
on Lawrence, but Governor Geary arrived in time to disperse them. David R. Atchison was in 
the party, and Governor Geary rebuked him, by saying that the last time he saw him he was 
presiding over the United States senate as acting vice-president. 

December 15, 1855, Atchison published a letter in the Charleston Mercury, in which he wrote: 
" Let your young men come forth to Missouri and Kansas! Let them come well armed, with 
money enough to support them for twelve months, and determined to see this thing out. One 
hundred true men will be an acquisition. The more the better. I do not see how we are to avoid 
civil war. Come it will. Twelve months will not elapse before war, civil war, of the fiercest 
kind, will be upon us. We are arming and preparing for it. Indeed, we of the border counties 
are prepared. We must have the suppoi-t of the South, We are fighting the battles of the 
South. Our institutions are at stake." — Webb Scrap-books, vol. 8, p. 139. 

On the date referred to, February 4, 1856, Atchison said: "My object in going was not to 
vote but to settle a difficulty between two of our candidates, and the abolitionists of the North 
said, and published it abroad, that Atchison was there with a bowie-knife and revolver, and by 
God 't was true. I never did go into that territory, I never intend to sro into that territory, with- 
out being prepared for all such kind of cattle. ... I say, prepare yourselves ; get ready. 
Go over there ; send your young men, and if they attempt to drive you out, then, damn them, 
drive them out. Fifty of you with your shotguns are equal to 250 of them with their Sharp's 
rifles. Get ready ; arm yourselves ; for if they abolitionize Kansas, Missouri is no longer a slave 
state, and you lose 8100,000,000 of your property."— Webb Scrap-books, vpl. 9, p. 216. 

At Lawrence, May 21, 1856. Atchison made this kind of a speech : " Boys, this day I am a 
Kickapoo ranger, by G— d. This day we have entered Lawrence with Southern rights in- 
scribed upon our banner, and not one d d Abolitionist dared to fire a gun. Now, boys, this is 

the happiest day of my life. We have entered that d d town, and ^taught the d d Aboli- 
tionists a Southern lesson that they will remember until the day they die. And now, boys, we 

will go in again with our highly honorable Jones, and test the strength of that d d Free-state 

hotel, and teach the Emigrant Aid Company that Kansas shall be ours. Boys, ladies should, and 
I hope will, be respected by every gentleman. But, when a woman takes upon herself the garb 
of a soldier, by carrj'ing a Sharp's rifle, then she is no longer worthy of respect. Trample her 
under your feet as you would a snake. Come on, boys ; now to your duty to yourselves and your 
Southern friends. Your duty I know you will do. If one man or woman dare stand before you, 
blow them to h-11 with a chunk of cold lead."— Webb Scrap-books, vol. 13, p. 58. [James F. 
Legate always said that he heard this speech.] 

In a speech at St. Joseph, in the early summer of 1855, B. F. Stringfellow said : "I tell you 
to mark every scoundrel among you that is the least tainted with f ree-soilism or abolitionism and 

exterminate him. Neither give nor take quarter from the d d rascals. I propose to mark 

them in this house, and on the present occasion, so you may crush them out. To those who have 
qualms of conscience as to violating laws, state or national, the crisis has arrived when such im- 
positions must be disregarded, as your rights and property are in danger ; and I advise you. one 
and all, to enter every election district in Kan.sas, in defiance of Reeder and his vile myrmidons, 
and vote at the point of the bowie-knife and revolver. Neither give nor take quarter, as our cause 
demands it. It is enough that the slave-holding interest wills it. from which there is no appeal. 
What right has Governor Reeder to rule Missourians in Kansas? His proclamation and prescribed 
oath must be repudiated. It is your interest to do so. Mind that slavery is established where it 
it not prohibited."— Webb Scrap-books, vol. 3, p. 130. 



142 Kansas State Historical Society. 

establishing a line of steamboats from Alton, 111., to Leavenworth and Law- 
rence, and thus reach Chicago. '- 

By the summer of 1857 the end of the contest was so apparently free-soil 
that the spirit of commercialism exhibited by the people of Lawrence reached 
Atchison and Stringfellow, and the towns of Atchison •'■' and Leavenworth" 
were yielded to free-state control. History tells us that about this time the 
pro-slavery and free-soil men of Atchison agreed tacitly to forego political 
differences and remember only the well-being of the town, and several 
ladies opened small private schools for the accommodation of the growing 
young community. 

In October, 1857, Gen. James H. Lane ■' had an appointment to speak at 
Atchison, and threats of violence were made by some pro-slavery people. 
October 19, 1857, a public meeting was held, and speeches were made by 
several citizens of various poHtical stripes, Robert McBratney, Dr. J. H. 
Stringfellow, and others, all deprecating what had now become disgraceful. 
At this time the brains of the pro-slavery party had given up the fight, and 
the fortunate possessors thereof fraternized with any one who would come 
in to help build up the town, now striving against other new and flourishing 
places around it. 

In an editorial, March 21, 1857, Harper's Weekly concluded "That we are 
not so great a country as we thought we were." We are told that Law- 
rence marks the point where successful agriculture will be found to have sub- 
stantially reached the "western inland Hmit of the United States, " and great 
distress is exhibited for fear of "the effect upon our institutions and our 
government." "Is the escape- valve so soon to be shut down? Is the ref- 
luent wave of population to be turned back thus early on the national heart? " 
These conundrums centered around Lawrence, a point which the same paper, 
June 6, 1857, places among the relics, as follows : " Fifty years hence, when 
the slavery question has come to be viewed as an interesting economical 
problem, like subsoil plows or the merits of guano, the Oread hill, with its 
old fort, will be as curious an object as the ax with which great men's 
heads were cut off in the Tower of London, or the Place de la Bastile, in 
Paris. ' ' There were wise men in the East in those days talking about Kansas. 

There is no doubt but that each crisis in the march of time develops men 
and women capable of meeting it, but it is well for all who enjoy the fruits 
to consider profoundly the wise and heroic service of those who were 
charged with the duty of starting the state of Kansas. Not all of those 
who have gone before will ever receive due credit. I trust I have brought 
a few overlooked to life and light. 

Pride in the past is essential to good citizenship. The territorial pioneers 
of Kansas are entitled to the gratitude of the people for all time to come. 
We should ever have consciousness and thoroughness in our knowledge of 
the state's history. The public schools of Kansas are now by law required 
to teach state history. 

In closing, let me say a word in behalf of the Kansas State Historical 
Society. This Society and its work should be the pride of every citizen of 

Note 32.-Webb Scrap-books, vol. 11. pp. 26. 37, 84. 

Note 33.- Cutler's History of Kansas, 1883, p. 373. 

Note 34.— The election of a free-state mayor, April 13, 1857, in Wilder's Annals, 1886. p. 160. 

Note 35.- Cutler's History of Kansas, 1883. p. 372. 



Early Days in Kansas. 143 

the state. The object of the Society "shall be to collect, embody, arrange 
and preserve books, pamphlets, maps, charts, manuscripts, papers, paint- 
ings, statuary, and other materials illustrative of the history of Kansas in 
particular, and of the country generally ; to procure from the early pioneers 
narratives of the events relative to the early settlement of Kansas, and of 
the early explorations, the Indian occupancy, overland travel, and immigra- 
tion to the territoi-y and the West ; to gather all information calculated to 
exhibit faithfully the antiquities and the past and present resources and 
progress of the state, and to take steps to promote the study of history by 
lectures and other available means." 

It will be observed that one need not necessarily be an old man or an old 
woman to do this ; on the contrary, it is to be regretted that a proper ap- 
preciation of such work seldom comes to men and women at a time in their 
lives when such a task would be easier of complete accomplishment. "The 
struggles of empires and the convulsions of nations," says a writer, "while 
they have much of sublimity, have also much of uncertainty and indistinct- 
ness." Important and instructive as is the narration of past events and the 
influence they have exerted on the world in civilization and refinement, his- 
tory is seldom so interesting as when, descending from the loftier and more 
splendid regions of general narration, it dwells for a while in a humbler 
place, and delights in the details of events of every-day life and of the his- 
tory of the people. 

At the end of the year, June 30, 1904, the Historical Society has 10 life 
members, and 146 members who pay an annual fee of one dollar each. Be- 
sides these, all newspaper editors and publishers are members by virtue of 
the contribution of their publications. The collections of the Society have 
an intrinsic value beyond estimate, but, based on figures used by a correspond- 
ing institution, $200,000 would not replace it. Last summer I attended a 
meeting of the various historical associations in the Louisiana purchase. 
One man spoke and said: "My father was a life member of the Missouri 
Historical Society; I am a life member; and my son [pointing to a sixteen- 
year-old lad] is also a life member." Surely, if there is that much pride in 
Missouri, there ought to be as much, if not more, among Kansas people in 
a Kansas society of like nature. 

To appear on the program of the semicentennial observance of such an 
event is an extraordinary privilege. I know of no way to compensate for 
the honor you have done me in your invitation but to pledge renewed zeal 
in caring for the records of this people committed to the society which I 
represent. 



144 Kansas State Historical Society. 



ADDRESS BY GEORGE R. PECK.^ 

Delivered at the Semicentennial Anniversary of the Founding of Lawrence, Kan., 
October 6. 1904. 

Mr. President, Ladies, and Gentlemen: It is hardly a figure of speech 
to say that memory is the motor of civilization. If you would know the se- 
cret of human progress, mark how tenderly, how proudly, how steadfastly the 
world clings to the annals of heroic deeds. Men go forward only by looking 
backward ; and the great races which, like ours, have a history, are not so much 
led as they are pushed. Magna charta, the bill of rights, and the declara- 
tion of independence— firm set in the irrevocable past— are more potent with 
all who speak our tongue than the beckonings of any future that can come 
into our vision. Before us, always and always, are the struggles we know 
must come; but behind us are the strong impulsions of the immemorial 
years. In these autumnal days, tinged with a beauty seen nowhere else as 
it is in Kansas, where earth and air and sky are in perfect rhythm, it is 
most fitting that we should, if we may, touch hearts and hands with those 
brave yesterdays, in whose memory you make this a holy week. 

Some are here, silver-touched, who remember them; who in the ardor of 
their young lives, wrought for the cause; and all, whether young or old, 
who join in these observances, are moved by the spell of those deep in- 
fluences which are, as Wordsworth says, "felt in the blood and felt along 
the heart." Under these skies a drama was enacted, whose epic greatness 
is far more apparent now than it was then, and which will grow more and 
more sublime as the years go by. It is an imperial theme; and I know full 
well how little right I have to stand in its august presence. But you bade 
me come, because I, too, have lived in Kansas; have known the sweetness 
of a Kansas home, and have here breathed "an ampler ether, a diviner 
air." Kansas had little need of me; but all my life I shall feel a certain 
distinction in the fact that for a quarter of a century I was a citizen of this 
great commonwealth. And so I thank you, good people of Lawrence, old 
friends, true friends, that, as I have kept you in my heart, you have not 
forgotten me. 

The building of states is not a trade. They are not constructed as houses 
are. No one consciously lays their foundations or uprears their walls. 

Note 1. — George R. Peck vyas born May 15, 1843, in Cameron, Steuben county. New York. 
He is a descendant of William Peck, who emigrated from England in 1638 and was one of the 
founders of New Haven. His father, Joel Munger Peck, was born in Chenango county. New 
York, in 1799, and removed to Palmyra, Wis., in 1849. His mother, Amanda Purdy, was born in 
Norwich, Chenango county. New York, in 1804. George R. Peck was the youngest of ten chil- 
dren. He worked on a farm until he was sixteen years old. He attended the common schools 
during the fall and winter. For three successive winters he taught school. At the age of 
seventeen he entered Milton College. His parents determined to send him to an Eastern 
college, but on the day he was to start he changed his mind, and enlisted under Lincoln's 
call for 300,000 additional volunteers, in the First Wisconsin heavy artillery. In three months 
he was made first lieutenant of company K. Thirty-first Wisconsin infantry, of which he be- 
came captain. He was with General Sherman in many of his engagements, and was mustered 
out in July, 1865. He read law with Charles G. Williams, in Janesville, Wis., where he practiced 
for three years, and in the fall of 1871 changed his residence to Independence, Kan. January 14, 
1874, he was appointed United States district attorney for Kansas by President Grant, and re- 
appointed by President Hayes. He moved to Topeka and formed a partnership with Thomas 
Ryan. He became general solicitor for the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad Company in 
1881, serving until August, 1896, when he was called to a similar position with the Chicago, Mil- 
waukee & St. Paul railway. He served many years as regent of the Kansas State University. 
He was married in 1866 to Miss Belle Burdick, of Janesville, Wis. They have three children 



Address by George R. Peck. 145 

They grow; they rise out of hopes and aspirations, out of longings and faiths, 
and, alas! out of selfishness and the clashing of personal ambitions. We 
shall not find perfection in this world until the dross is wrung out of human 
hearts; and then the pen of history will have become dull and heavy, wait- 
ing for the everlasting rest. 

Kansas, the beautiful, is like that stately pleasure dome of which Cole- 
ridge dreamed— not builded, but decreed. Here on the prairie she stands in 
her loveliness, with smiles and tears for the jewels that make her roof to 
shine and to be seen from afar. But, after all, a state, and especially such 
a state as Kansas, cannot be truly imaged as a structure. It is an organism; 
vital, sentient, pulsing with currents of life, and teeming with thoughts 
that, from day to day, take form and shape and become ideals established 
and secured in her rule and polity. 

Half -centuries seem slow to those who have not tried them; but, for all 
of us, the shuttle flies more and more swiftly as the years are woven into 
the cloth of human destiny. Eighteen hundred and fifty-four was a memo- 
rable year. The fates were loosened; the map was waiting to be colored; 
the eyes of North and South were fastened upon this fairest region of the 
republic, which all men saw must be the arena for the deadly clutch of ideas. 
How tame, how commonplace, are our contentions of to-day! Tariffs and 
trusts seem almost grotesque in their littleness, when we think of freedom 
and slavery. Fifty years ago the sinews of men were strung to the ulti- 
mate pitch of endurance for a cause— for the cause. I wonder if we could 
bear such a strain to-day? 

The Kansas-Nebraska bill, under which Kansas territory was organized, 
did not, as has sometimes been said, dedicate this soil to slavery. It did 
worse; it tore down the barrier which, since 1820, had stayed the northward 
advance of that institution, and said: "Freedom with her hands tied may— 
if she can— defend herself against slavery armed to the teeth, and with the 
panoply of the United States upon her." The chief iniquity of the bill was 
that it seemed so fair. It declared, with an appearance of judicial impar- 
tiality, that it was " the true intent and meaning of this act not to legislate 
slavery into any territory or state, nor to exclude it therefrom, but to leave 
the people thereof perfectly free to form and regulate their domestic institu- 
tions in their own way. ' ' 

Surely that sounded reasonable. What could be better? The people 
were to be left perfectly free to decide for themselves whether they would 
have freedom or slavery. Wise men have ever trusted the power of truth. 
Listen to the words of John Milton— words that once stirred the heart of 
Puritan England to its depths: "Though all the winds of doctrine were let 
loose to play upon the earth, so truth be in the field, we do ingloriously to 
misdoubt her strength. Let her and the falsehood grapple; who ever knew 
truth put to the worse, in a free and open encounter? " 

Your eyes will flash as you note how Milton's grave and lofty eloquence 
assumed that the encounter between truth and falsehood should be "free 
and open. ' ' What it was in Kansas territory you know and the world knows. 
It was not "free and open," but was waged by the friends of freedom as 
best they could, in the imminent peril of the hour, against an enemy with 
the moral and, sometimes, with the physical assistance of the government 
at its back. And yet such is the power of truth, the people of this brave 
-10 



146 Kansas State Historical Society. 

city and this brave state are here to-day in peace and happiness, knowing 
how beautiful it is to have dreams come true. 

Consider, if you will, that great struggle, with which Kansas and the 
people of Kansas are indissolubly connected. All the world loves a fair fight. 
Admiration for courage is a part of human nature. It is, perhaps, a relic of 
other days— days, not so enlightened and advanced as these— but there is in it 
a certain quality which, if it ever fails us, will leave us weak and withered. 
The world will not forget the story of the Kansas conflict. Freedom was 
here with her innocent smile, calm and confident, hoping all things and ready 
to endure all things; and what happened was this: They put gyves upon her 
wrists, and told her she might win— if she could. And she won. 

It is very profitless to speculate upon what would have happened— if 
something else had not happened. But we cannot help prattling, as men 
and babes have prattled since language first touched human lips. It seems 
to be an intellectual necessity to repeat forever the obstinate questionings 
which begin with "if" and end only with other "ifs" that fail to bring an 
answer. I once heard Jeremiah S. Black declare that "if the battle of 
Tours had gone the other way the sign of the camel driver would have blazed 
all over western Europe. ' ' It seems to me— does it not seem to you?— that if 
the Kansas conflict had gone the other way— if slavery had triumphed and 
Kansas in her weeds of mourning had been bi'ought into the Union a slave 
state— slavery would have become national, and freedom sectional, as Abra- 
ham Lincoln declared they would. 

And still it was true, as we know it now, slavery was already a lost cause. 
The centuries had crept slowly along through darkness to the better light, 
and the intelligence of modern times had pronounced its doom. The wisdom 
of the world, ethical, economic, and religious, had said "No." Long before 
the civil war, where slavery made its final fight— so grand, so gallant, so 
magnificent— it was but a relic; an anachronism; an effort to maintain in 
the nineteenth century the ideas and the methods of the fifteenth. It died, 
as all things die, when the end comes. "The stars in their courses fought 
against Sisera. " 

It was perhaps ordained— who can tell?— that the free-state cause should 
have its pivot here by Mount Oread; and that those who struggled to make 
Kansas free should look this way always for encouragement, for light; and, 
more than all, for that wise counsel without which good causes languish and 
fail. Here was the citadel; and here was the intellectual center, which was, 
in that contest, as in all contests, the real center. Emerson asks: "Is not 
a man better than a town?" And we may well answer: "Yea, verily, if he 
be really so." There are men and there are towns; but here was that happy 
conjunction, in which town and men were fused and blended as if summoned 
by another Virgil, to another and better Arma Virumque. 

When the Kansas-Nebraska bill became a law, in 1854, the great plain 
out of which the two territories were carved lay open to the sky, unknown, 
mysterious; waiting— as all things wait— for the event; and it came. The 
act was approved by President Pierce May 30, 1854, and from that date time, 
which seems so slow, rushed onward, always onward, to secession, to Sum- 
ter, and— beyond. 

May 30— when spring and summer kiss each other under the blossoms— 
the act went into effect. Years afterward, when sorrow and pride selected 



Address by George R. Peck. 147 

May 30 as the day for tears and flowers over the dust of those who died for 
that which never dies— they who chose it unconsciously set history to music. 

Let us think of 1854; think what it was here by the Kaw, here by Mount 
Oread. New England, which undeniably is thrifty, is also, and has always 
been, prone to muse and meditate on things which do not show tangible re- 
wards. They do and dare for the things which get a hearing in their minds. It 
was not for profit that Carver and Bradford sailed, or Putnam fought, or War- 
ren died. And so it happened that when the question of slavery in Kansas 
came on, and slavery flung down her challenge, New England promptly picked 
it up, as her fashion has always been. Let us be fair. While New England 
certainly led in the Kansas struggle, she led by her ideas and her example 
as much, perhaps, as in any other way. Others were here, from Ohio, from 
Illinois, from Wisconsin, and from the entire North— men who had become 
weary of being smitten on the one cheek only to turn the other for a blow. 
When the roll is called, it matters little where was the birthplace or where 
the ancestral home of any who stand up to be counted. They came, not 
simply to make homes for themselves; that would be too narrow a view of 
the great movement which, against appalling odds, won freedom for Kan- 
sas, and, in a larger sense, for this nation. They came to make free homes 
for all; to establish here, in Kansas, towns and town meetings, district 
schools, the untrammeled vote of every citizen, and all the sanctions of an 
institutional government. Their zeal, tranquil and self-poised, was the zeal 
which had been in generations before them— generations that had crossed 
the ocean, and subdued the sternest soil upon this continent. Kansas was 
of course, different from New England. The comparison was between a 
garden and a land of rocks. I pray you remember they were not mere ad- 
venturers; and remember, too, they were men who could follow a purpose 
wherever it might lead, asking only if it were right. 

We often use the phrase: "The irony of fate." Here is the irony: 
The Kansas-Nebraska bill, passed by the votes of men who expected to see 
slavery made the corner-stone of the new territory, was the strongest in- 
fluence which insured freedom here instead of slavery. They turned the 
question out of Congress— out to the free prairies, where truth can always 
find a chance. They blindly said: "You miy fight it out. " And so it hap- 
pened the wretched measure, the fatal and perfidious bill, became a step in 
the march toward all for which the friends of freedom were praying. And 
they took care of this soil and made it free forever. Such is the irony of 
fate. 

You who are young perhaps do not understand that the fight was not 
against slavery in the abstract, but against its extension. New England 
and the North said: "Slavery is wrong, but it is protected by constitutional 
and statutory guaranties, and we must let it alone where it is." But they 
said also: "Keep within your own limits; so far may you come, but no far- 
ther. Keep off the prairies." And then the prairies spoke out; for, in the 
cabins and on the claims, they knew they could hardly live themselves, and 
that the children could never thrive, if their toil was to be measured by the 
toil of slaves. It is an old economic truth that the good and valuable can- 
not compete with the bad and worthless. Slave labor will drive out free 
labor as the cheaper and baser metal will drive out the precious one. It 
was a perfectly simple proposition. Slavery was not only wrong, but it was 
destructive of their homes; the gardens, the flowers, the clambering wild 



148 Kansas State Historical Society. 

rose, the little cluster of buildings, the lares and penates, which they had 
cherished and brought with them to their rude Western habitations. Let 
slavery stay where it belongs— on the plantation, in the swamp, in the fields 
of rice and cane— but it shall not fasten its deadly fangs upon our free 
Western institutions. That was the issue; and it was here, good friends— 
here, where we now are, and out upon the virgin soil of Kansas— that the 
grapple came. In all those days and nights, Lawrence was the eye and ear 
of the cause. 

How can I recite the story of this beautiful city, or tell the part she 
played in the struggle for freedom in Kansas? How can I tell you— you 
who are dwellers here— what relation she bore to the cause which in some 
form has always been in the hearts of men? Lawrence is distinctly a child 
of New England. And if that be not a lineage of which to boast, it is cer- 
tainly a lineage of which you may well be proud. The love of liberty in any 
heart is a sacred, a solemn and an inspiring thing; and it is, ideally, as 
beautiful in one person or in one country or state as in another. It is the 
same passion in Holland or Switzerland as in Old England or in New Eng- 
land, and, like all that is most precious in human lives, is but a sentiment, 
impalpable and invisible, though as real and actual as the everlasting hills. 
In the teachings of the Master there is nothing more profoundly true than 
this: "The kingdom of God is within you." When Eli Thayer saw the ap- 
proaching triumph of the slavery propagandists in the certain passage of 
the Kansas-Nebraska bill, he felt within him kingdoms and powers and hopes 
and faiths and the "quickening of the word." His eyes had never seen this 
land of surpassing beauty, but what of that? It is a narrow patriotism and 
a very scant philosophy which confines human effort to that which happens 
under our own eyes. Eli Thayer, with the soul of a poet and the brain of a 
New England Yankee, took time by the forelock and organized his company 
before the bill passed. That has been their way always. The genius of 
Puritanism means: "Here we are— Ready. " And it means also, if abso- 
lutely necessary— "Fire!" And the Puritan, fellow citizens, takes his Crom- 
well and his Hampden with him to Kansas, and to any place upon this earth 
where he plants his feet. The United States of America, one and indivisible, 
is the product of New England ideas, mixed— a little— with other ideas. 
Without New England we should not be what we are, and what we expect 
to be— soon or late. 

You have seen paintings of the Mayflower, and of the sad-faced Pilgrims 
who used to kneel upon her deck to pray for safety and deliverance. Some 
day artists will paint the men and women who came here, under an impulse 
as strong as that which filled the sails of the Mayflower, and then you will 
see that heroism is infinitely pervasive, and that it is, in Shakespeare's ex- 
quisite phrase, "as broad and general as the casing air." Some poet will, 
in good time, relate the story, which, however dumb the tongue may be 
that tells it now, is a true poem. And poetry is the highest expression of 
truth. The epic asks for something heroic, and the lyric for something 
sweet. Ah! what both really ask for is something true— and then they 
sing, under divine promptings, while the world listens and loves, and re- 
news the consecrations of all the years. 

Eli Thayer started his New England Emigrant Aid Company before the 
Kansas-Nebraska bill became a law. As Emerson says: "He saw— which 
means that he foresaw." When the bill was fastened upon the country— a 



Address by George R. Peck. 149 

bad, wicked, false enactment— the "New England Emigrant Aid Company " 
was already a legal entity, with chartered rights and powers, and with 
something in the treasury to defray necessary expenses. I have read, and 
you have read, how the Pilgrim fathers organized their westward sailing ; 
how Carver and Bradford and the others prevised what might happen, and 
—perhaps against the literal word of the Gospel— took thought of the mor- 
row. In enterprises of great pith and moment wisdom means action— in- 
stant, immediate action— and so it was that Eli Thayer and his company 
were ready for the bill, and for all that it meant. 

May 30, 1854, it came. The prairies were aflame; and the hearts of men 
were hot with the controversy. Could any one think for a moment that Kan- 
sas would be given up ? And yet, why not ? Why should men struggle for 
a mere idea; for ethical abstractions which they could very well live with- 
out ? If the slave-drivers want the prairies why should they not have them ? 
What difference does it make to us ? Do we feel the shackles that bind the 
ankles of a slave ? After all, what is there in this talk about right and 
wrong? Ah ! there you have asked the ultimate question; you have touched 
the surest and most responsive spring of human motive. Down at the bot- 
tom, it was a question of right and wi'ong— and such questions cannot be 
compromised. It would be a tedious recital to tell how Missouri poured over 
the border, and how territorial governors came and went, vainly trying to 
do right, without being able to do exactly right. From the first the case 
was hopeless, for it was too large for politics. It was not only so great a 
moral question that it dominated all others, but as we see now, and as wise 
men saw then, it could neither be evaded nor put down. The sun and all 
the stars were shining upon Kansas, but they gave their beams alike for 
those who fought for slavery, and for those who fought against it. It is a 
romantic story; but history, when rightly told, is always romantic. 

What eye it was that first saw the great possibility of Lawrence, and 
the beauty of its situation, I know not. But it is plain enough to those who 
see it now, that nature smiled upon the pioneers, and here gave them her 
sweetest welcome. 

All that I have said, all that can be said about the 'conflict for freedom 
in Kansas, leads up to the part played by Lawrence in that immortal struggle. 
Here was the shrine; here freedom poured out her tears, and here she kept 
her constant vigil, undaunted by disaster and undismayed by fear. Instinct- 
ively, they who came to Kansas to make it a slave state hated Lawrence; 
and against this child of the Mayflower they garnered up their wrath. Out 
from the camps and settlements came wireless messages of good and evil 
import, from enemies and from friends alike; but in the cabins which clus- 
tered around Mount Oread the heart of the cause was bravely beating. 
On yonder hillside, and down by the banks of the river— sometimes joyous, 
sometimes despondent— the little homes gave back, to friend and foe alike, 
the one reply: "We are here— we are here to stay." It was something 
more than poetic fancy which made Keats sing: "Beauty is truth, truth 
beauty." The home-dwellers here, pinched and crowded, had beauty in 
their kitchens, and truth in their hearts— yea, in their very heart of hearts— 
cor cordium. Let us not forget that, in good and evil times, the soul of 
the home is the wife or mother who reigns under its roof. 

Back of most great movements— when they become visible to the world— 



150 Kansas State Historical Society. 

is a sentimental question. It may be a stamp act; it may be tea in Boston 
harbor; but it is seldom a question of money. After all, what is there in 
this world worth fighting for which is not based on some deep consideration 
that will, when crowded to its uttermost, become profoundly spiritual? And 
such was the situation in 1854. You cannot choke a genuine aspiration by 
any appeal to consequences. When the Kansas-Nebraska act became a law, 
everybody— philosophers and fools alike— understood that it meant a fight to 
the finish. When the gauntlet was thrown down, they said in New Eng- 
land, and out on the prairies, "We will see about it." And they did. 

Meanwhile, Lawrence was, in the language of science, being evolved. 
This day, tranquil and content, she looks back upon her sorrows, and for- 
ward to triumphs yet to corrie. But what a history it has been! When Eli 
Thayer organized his company, how little he dreamed of to-day! But such 
has ever been the way of the world. They who do great things — the things 
that make history radiant— can never foresee what will happen. It is doubt- 
less better so; but think how beautiful it would be if, to the eyes of those 
who have done great deeds, there had come glimpses of the future! Colum- 
bus died not knowing he had discovered- a continent, but believing only that 
he had found a new pathway to Cathay. The mind of Magellan never 
grasped the tremendous consequences of that marvelous voyage which 
showed that all the oceans are one. Eli Thayer probably did not see that 
with his emigrant aid company he was doing infinitely more than organizing 
a free Kansas. In the strife out upon the prairies the coming war was 
latent, waiting to be born when its time should come. Looking backward, 
everybody now knows that the civil war— big with the fate of free institu- 
tions—was but a continuance of the fight on the border. Already there were 
mutterings of Shiloh and Gettysburg and Appomattox. And thus it hap- 
pened that Lawrence became a factor in the struggle that made things so 
different, the world over. That conflict was an elemental encounter. Here 
we are this day, peaceful and contented. Lawrence, sad-eyed daughter of 
misfortune, wears myrtle and ivy in her hair, and gives to all the greeting 
of one who is happy beyond words. But there are tears. Life is only such 
as it is, and whether we should be glad is never answered here. And yet, 
it is well to think that, where we now are, a great cause has been weighed 
and tested in the unerring scales of truth, and has come out with the seal 
upon it that lasts forever. No one can now say that it would have been 
better if slavery had succeeded in its efforts to seize this commonwealth. 

Fifty years ago to-day the New England Emigrant Aid Company held a 
meeting here. The record does not tell us, but it was doubtless such a day 
as a Kansas October always has in store — like that which inspired the soul 
of dear old George Herbert, when he sang: 

"Sweet day, so cool, so calm, so bright, 
The bridal of the earth and sky." 

There must have been many weighty matters under consideration, for, 
only a few hours before, a demand had been served upon Charles Robinson, 
who was the incarnate purpose of the New England company, to remove a 
certain tent in thirty minutes or suffer the consequences. The tent was not 
removed, but the company went serenely forward, in the New England way, 
with the business it had in hand. Mrs. Robinson, who gave to history an 



Address by George R. Peck. 151 

invaluable service in her book, "Kansas, Its Interior and Exterior Life," 
made this entry in the record she kept of daily events: 

"October 6. At a meeting of the association, it was decided that the 
town be named Lawrence, after Amos A. Lawrence, of Boston, who was 
doing much for the settlement." 

It is a noble name, and not only fitly commemorates the Boston philan- 
thropist who was so closely identified with this young city, but it is sug- 
gestive of the high and resolute spirit of those who chose it, that it had 
been borne by the brave sailor who died on the deck of the "Chesapeake," 
murmuring, with his departing breath, "Don't give up the ship!" And 
this city— another Sparta— turned always to her foes with the same brave 
look, which said: "You may hack, you may murder, you may burn— but 
here we are, and here we shall remain. " Excepting only Plymouth— if, 
indeed, she ought to be excepted— there is no soil on this continent so sacred 
as that upon which we stand to-day. The currents of history, flowing down- 
ward from age to age and from generation to generation, meet Thermopylae 
and Naseby and Bunker Hill, but here they touched a soil as sweet and 
classic as any in all the world. 

In the wild, irregular outbreaks which always accompany great move- 
ments, when they leave the domain of thought for the trial of mere physical 
strength, it is inevitable that many excesses will be committed. And one 
of the best things in the history of Kansas is the wise and prudent modera- 
tion that always tempered passion when the advice of Charles Robinson 
was heeded. How true it is— 

"The gods approve 
The depth and not the tumult of the soul." 

He was your first great citizen; calm, sagacious, and brave; so well 
tried in personal courage that he, of all others, could advise caution without 
reproach. He had that highest attribute of statesmanship, which, in his own 
language, strove always to " keep the record right." He would not go into 
any movement which could be counted as rebellion against the United States 
—against the government which, how far so ever it had drifted from its 
true course, was yet the formal, outward authority which good citizens must 
respect, or try to respect. In the Kansas struggle, the government, or per- 
haps it would be more correct to say the administration, was wrong, and it 
took a large man in such a crisis to see the distinction between the desirable 
and the possible. There is a maxim that has come to us from the French revo- 
lution, which declares that in troublous times it is "audacity, audacity, 
audacity " which wins. Yes, to-day. But true wisdom thinks of to-morrow. 
It is not audacity but cool, deliberate judgment which wins great causes. If 
the Kansas conflict had been French— if it had been a general uprising 
against the government— it would not have been what we know it was. 
The American people can never have need of revolution. Every right which 
they have ever claimed or desired is in the great organic law. And so it has 
always happened, that when the English-speaking people assert a grievance, 
it is not for the denial of some new privilege, but for the withholding of 
some ancient right. It is, of course, true that we know the history of our 
own breed and kin better than that of any other, but scholars and students 
the world over know the Anglo-Saxon story. It has been a forward race. 



152 Kansas State Historical Society. 

always in the advance, gathering to itself from traditions and ballads and 
stories; a creed, almost as much religious as it is political, which means only 
this: Liberty under the law. 

What shall I say of Lawrence in history? The Quantrill raid is a part 
of it, but that was only a wild, sporadic outburst— the savage, cruel sequel 
of the free-state struggle. In it Lawrence was paying again the penalty of 
her devotion for freedom. When it was over she lifted once more her beau- 
tiful face, as in the old days, and, looking out serenely upon the future, 
uttered the words which more truly than any others tell the sad, brave story 
of Kansas: "Ad astra per aspera." Truly, she had reached the stars 
through rough ways. 

It is a strong, enduring tie, which here unites the city and university— 
the civic and the scholastic— in that high companionship which has so long 
identified them and made them one. The great institution which crowns 
Mount Oread is the pledge of high resolves, and each morning as it looks out 
upon the landscape such as cannot be seen elsewhere, they who give and they 
who receive know how truly they have been dedicated to freedom, and to the 
things for which Kansas suffered and strove in those brave days. Here let 
me express the hope and the faith that the Kansas State University will 
continue to be always, not only the seat of scholarship and learning, but of 
honor, truth, and freedom— the high ideals which, more than any others, join 
a university to the great common heart. 

They greatly err who think that learning and patriotism do not go hand 
in hand, each helping, encouraging and sustaining the other. As a univei'sity 
town, Lawrence is dedicated to both; and from both has received blessings 
which cannot all be told, or estimated, or measured. I like to believe that 
this noble institution is kindred to all others, anywhere in the world, which 
keep burning the light of civilization, of science, of art, and of beauty. I 
like to believe that some day she will be another Oxford, at whose breast 
has been nurtured the best scholarship and the best thought of England- 
Oxford, "spreading her gardens to the moonlight and whispei'ing from her 
towers the last enchantments of the middle age." 

Fellow citizens, the high aim of all these ceremonies is neither to recall 
nor to exalt the mere founding or the mere naming of a city. Ah ! there 
are larger cities— cities of greater commercial importance, of greater wealth; 
but nowhere, on any soil, are there memories more inspiring or which mean 
more to those who look back fifty years. I congratulate you, whose homes 
are here in this goodly Kansas, that peace with all her joys and consolations 
came long ago to take the place of sorrow and of strife. The old days were 
glorious, when the nerves were always attuned, and the men and women 
proudly confident of their cause. The constant watch, sleepless, habitual— 
because danger is the quickest of teachers— gave them what has well been 
called "the historic poise"— the serenity that rises above alarm and takes 
courage from its own unslumbering heart. And what of to-day? Let us 
think, and think— while we move forward. The place of Lawrence in his- 
tory is secure forever. 

"There's not a breathing of the common wind 
That will forget thee ; thou hast great aUies ; 
Thy friends .are exultations, agonies, ... 

And love, and man's unconquerable mind." 



III. 

Missions Among the Indians in Kansas. 



RIGHT REVEREND JOHN B. MIEGE, S. J., FIRST 
CATHOLIC BISHOP OF KANSAS. 

Written for the Kansas State Historical Society by James A. McGONIGLE, ' of Leavenworth. 

JOHN BAPTIST MIEGE was born in 1815, the youngest son of a wealthy 
and pious family of the parish of Chevron in upper Savoy. At an early 

age he was committed to the care of his brother, the director of the episcopal 

seminary of Montiers. At 
this time he manifested liter- 
erary and religious qualities 
of the highest kind. 

He completed his literary 
studies at nineteen. At first 
he desired to enter the army, 
but at his brother's sugges- 
tion he spent two more years 
at the seminary, in the study 
of philosophy, and after this 
his purpose was changed. 
On the 23d of October, 1836, 
he was admitted into the 
Society of Jesus by Rev. 
Father Puty, rector of the 
novitiate at Milan. 

During the very first 
years of his spiritual life, 
spent under Father Francis 
Pellico, he gave evidence of 
his strong purpose and en- 
ergy of soul. Broadest 
charity, profound humility, 
unflinching spirit of disci- 
pline and ardent devotion to 

his institute evidenced his vigor of character. Charity to his fellows was 

one of his very strongest characteristics, and one of his favorite themes for 

thought and discourse. 

He pronounced his first vows on October 15, 1838, spent two years in 

Note 1.-^ James McGonigle, "the father of James Andrew McGonigle, was born four 
miles from Giant's Causewaiy, county of Derry, Ireland,- July 31, 1786. When, sixteen years old 
he was appreaticed for five years to learn the art of weaving by hand in the city of London- 

(158) 




JOHN B. MIEGE, 
First Catholic Bishop of Kansas. 



154 Kansas State Historical Society. 

literary studies, and was transferred to the boarding-school at Milan, where 
he was entrusted with the office of chief disciplinarian. Thence, in 1843, he 
was removed to Chamb'ry where his genial disposition and the wide sym- 
pathy of his heart gave him a large influence over the students. In Septem- 
ber, 1844, owing to promise of future eminence, he was sent to Rome to be 
instructed by eminent masters. His talents were extensive and varied, but 
his bent of mind seemed to incline him especially to the most able solution 
of moral questions. 

He was ordained priest in 1847, and in 1848 completed his theological 
studies. This very year the houses of the society were closed by the revo- 
lutionists, and, among others. Father Miege sought refuge in France. Dur- 
ing the journey thither he took advantage of a most successful disguise to 
play the role of protector of the exiles, and his influence was such that he 
greatly contributed to make the journey rather pleasant than otherwise for 
the victims of the persecution. 

In the midsummer of 1849, as the result of his long and earnest petition, 
he set sail for the Indian mission of North America, and reached St. Louis 
in the fall. He was appointed pastor of the little church in St. Charles, 
Mo. His pastoral duty included the charge of the mission of the Portage. ^ 

Later he was removed to the house of probation at Florissant, Mo., 
where he taught moral theology. In 1851 he was sent to St. Louis Univer- 
sity, Missouri. In the fall of this year he was appointed to the vicariate 
apostolic of all the territory from the Kansas river at its mouth north to the 
British possessions and from the Missouri river west to the Rocky Moun- 
tains, being about 650 miles from south to north line and 600 from east to 

derry, Ireland. May 10, 1813. he took passage on a sailing' vessel, and arrived at Baltimore, Md., 
August 25, 1813, being three months and fifteen days on the way across. He settled at Hagers- 
town, Md., August 28, 1813, and immediately secured work at his trade and built up a successful 
business. He died November 28, 18.58. He was married in Hagerstown, May 1, 1829, to Miss 
Susan McLaughlin. Mrs. McGonigle was born in the county of Derry, Ireland, June 3, 1805, 
She was the mother of six sons and two daughters. James Andrew McGonigle was born in Ha- 
gerstown, Md., February 8, 1834. He started to a subscription school when he was eight years 
old, and at the age of seventeen entered an apprenticeship of three years at the house- joiner 
trade. He worked for two years as a journeyman in Hagerstown. at SI. 12'/:; cents per day of 
fourteen hours in summer-time, paying his board out of his wages. On the 26th of May, 18.57. he 
arrived in Leavenworth, where he immediately went to work at three dollars per day of ten 
hours. In a few months he began contracting, which he has continued to this day, erecting 
some of the most important buildings in the country from Pennsylvania west to Colorado and 
New Mexico, among them the cathedral at Leavenworth. In 1861, associated with Gen. Daniel 
McCook,* he raised company H, First Kansas infantry. McCook was made captain and McGoni- 
gle first lieutenant, and Michael Bransfield second lieutenant. In the ' attle of Wilson Creek, 
because of the sickne.'is of McCook, McGonigle had command of the company. McCook was one 
of the fighting family of McCooks. and remarked at enlistment that he would wear a colonel's 
epaulettes or fill a soldier's grave. When he died he was a brigadier-general. Company H, 
at Wilson Creek, lost nineteen killed and twenty- thi'ee wounded. Lieutenant McGonigle was 
wounded and talien to the rear, and later taken prisoner and sent to Texas. He was soon ex- 
changed, and on his return, with a friend, called on General Price, at Springfield, Mo. Price in- 
quired where they were from, and when each responded " Kansas," he said : " I am going to wipe 
out your state from one end of it to the other." Mr McGonigle was a member of the city coun- 
cil of Leavenworth in 1860 and again in 1865. He was a member of the second state legislature, 
in January, 1862. In politics McGonigle was a Democrat until 1896, since when he has voted the 
Republican ticket. He is a member of the Catholic church, belongs to the order of the Knights 
of Columbus and the Lo.val Legion, in the latter having served a term as commander. Feb- 
ruary 2, 1864, he was married to Miss Margaret Gilson, whose parents moved from Pittsburg, 
Pa., to Leavenworth July 3, 1860. They have eight children. 

Note 2.— Probably Portage des Sioux. 

"Daniel McCook, captain of company H, First Kansas infantry, from 31st of May to 9th of 
November, 1861. was a brother of Alexander McDowell McCook, and son of Daniel McCook. He 
was born in Carrollton, Ohio, July 22, 1834; enlisted with the First Kansas ; was made chief of 
staff in the first division of the army of the Ohio in the Shiloh campaign; colonel of the Fifty- 
second Ohio infantry July 15, 1862; and, for bravery displayed in the assault on Kenesaw moun- 
tain, which he led, was made brigadier-general July 16, 1864. He died on the 21st day of July, 
five days later, from wounds received in that battle. 



Missions Among the Indians in Kansas. 155 

west. 3 It required, however, the formal order of the Holy See to move him 
to accept the office. He was consecrated by Archbishop Kenrick on the 25th 
of March, 1851, in St. Xavier's Church, St. Louis, receiving the title of 
bishop of Messenia. He left St. Louis on the 11th of May following, and 
finally arrived at St. Marys, territory of Kansas. Here, in 1851, he built 
the first Catholic church in Kansas, of hewn logs.^ 

Here he began his life work as a missionary. The vast extent of his 
diocese rendered long and tedious journeys necessary, for he often visited 
its distant limits, traversing the then trackless wastes of Kansas, Nebraska, 
Colorado, and the Indian Territory. He removed and established his see in 
Leavenworth in 1855, where he found seven Catholic families.'^ 



FIRST CATHEDRAL IN KANSAS. 
Erected at St. Marys, in 1851. 

He commenced the erection of a church, size 24 by 40 feet.** The in- 
crease in the CathoHc population was so fast that in 1857 he erected a larger 
church, it being 40 by 100 feet. In 1863 he erected a large episcopal residence. 

In 1859 Bishop Miege, with Brother John, crossed the plains in his own 

Note 3. — The diocese comprised the greater part of what is now Montana, the Dakotas, 
Wyoming, Colorado. Nebraska, and Kansas. 

Note 4.—" Church of St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception, which was the first cathedral 
of Bishop Miege (1851-'55) and the first church of any size in Kansas."— Rev. J. J. O'Meara, S. J., 
sketch of St. Marys, in The Dial. February, 1890, p. 6. In March, 1839, a log church was built on 
Sugar creek, Linn county, by the Pottawatomie Indians, under the direction of Father Hoecken. 
In 1840, several hundred more Indians having arrived from Indiana, a new church was built for 
their accommodation, and blessed on Christmas day of that year by Father Aelen. — Father 
Hoecken's diary, in The Dial, June, 1890, p. 2, and September, 1890, p. 1. 

Note 5. — The membership of the cathedral congregation numbered 4000 persons in 1882. 
"The first mass in Leavenworth was said in 1854, by Bishop Miege, at the house of a Mrs. 
Quinn."— Cutler, History of Kansas, 1883, p. 431. "Leavenworth is the principal town of Kan- 
sas territory [1858]. It contains already about 10,000 souls, though it has sprung into existence 
within the last six years. It is beautifully and advantageously situated, on the Missouri river. It 
has a bishop, two Catholic churches, a convent, with a boarding-school and a day-school. There 
are already fifteen churches, twenty-three stations, sixteen priests, five religious communities, 
and four manual-labor schools for the Osage and Pottawatomie Indians, which are under the care 
of our fathers and religious ladies of diff'erent orders." — "Life, Letters and Travels of Father 
De Smet," Chittenden and Richardson, 1905, vol. 2, p. 720. 

Note 6.— In 1855 the old cathedral was built; in 1857 there was also erected a priest's house. 
-Cutler's History of Kansas, 1883. p. 431. 



156 Kansas State Historical Society. 

conveyance to Denver to establish the organization of the Catholic church 
in Colorado.' A trip at that time was hazardous, as the hostile Indians 
were constantly scalping those whom they might come across on the plains. 

About 1858 he established a Catholic church in Omaha, Neb." In 1858 
he invited eight members of the Sisters of Charity of the state of Ten- 
nessee to establish their order here, which they did. From the basis of 
eight members in 1858, they now number about 500, having academies and 
hospitals in Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado, New Mexico, Wyoming, and Mon- 
tana, where they have taught and dispensed charities to thousands of people. 
There is no order of sisters in the Catholic world that has done so much good 
as they. 

Bishop Miege commenced the excavation for the cathedral at Leaven- 
worth in the spring of 1864." The corner-stone was laid in September, 1864, 
and the cathedral was completed and dedicated December 8, 1868. The 
question is often asked: "Why did the bishop erect such a fine cathedral 
at Leavenworth?" The reason was this: At that time the contest was 
between Kansas City and Leavenworth as to which would be the great city 
on the banks of the Missouri river. In 1863, and for many years after that, 
Leavenworth was very prosperous and everything indicated that it would 
be the large city. Bishop Miege was a strong believer in the great future of 
Leavenworth, and showed his faith by erecting such a cathedral. Each 
city was striving to become an important railroad point. Kansas City 
secured it. 

The bishop possessed an artistic and architectural mind, which the great 
work he accomplished shows. The architectural proportions of the cathedral 
are perfect. The sanctuary is the largest of any cathedral in this country. 
He often remarked that he wanted a laige one, so that the largest ceremo- 
nies of the church could be held with comfort. Bishop Miege secured the 
best fresco artist in the United States, Leon Pomrade. The figures in fresco 
are perfect, and even to-day the expressions and colors are good. The 
stained-glass figures show that they were made by a first-class artist, as the 
colors are as fresh and clear to-day as when executed, thirty-seven years 
ago. The cathedral is of the Romanesque style of architecture, and has no 
superior of that type in this country. The size of the cathedral is 94 feet 
front and 200 feet long and about 56 feet high to square of building. The 
toweis, when completed, will be about 190 feet high. 

After the dedication of the cathedral the prosperity of Leavenworth de- 
clined, which affected the financial support of the church. The indebtedness 
of the cathedral at that time was about $100,000. 

Bishop Miege concluded a short time after the completion of the cathe- 
dral to make a trip to the South American states for the purpose of collect- 
ing funds to reduce the indebtedness. He was gone for a year or more, and 

Note 7. — In 1859 or 18(50 Bishop Lamy, bishop of Santa Fe, "received from Rome the juris- 
diction of the new country called Pike's Peak " ( see biography of Rt. Rev. J. P. Machebeuf. in 
History of Denver, Baskin. 1880, p. 525), and it is possible that Bishop Miege made this journey 
to Denver on business connected with the change in his diocese. See, also. Rocky Mountain 
Directory and Colorado Gazetteer, 1871, p. 138. 

NOTR 8. — Bishop Miege placed Rev. Father Cannon, of the Benedictine order, in charge of the 
Omaha church. St. Philomena. in the fall of 1858. and in the winter of 1858-'59, the vicariate of 
Kansas and Nebraska was divided. — Andreas, History of Nebraska, 18S2, p. 730. The vicariate 
Kansas and Nebraska was divided in 1857, and that of Nebraska and other territory in the 
Northwest was established January 6, 1857.— Catholic Directory, 1906, p. 494. 

Note 9. — This cathedral of the Imrnaoulate Conception cost $150,000. — Cutler's History of- 
Kansas, 1883, p. 431, . . - 



Missions Among the Indians in Kansas. 



157 




CATHEDRAL OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION, LEAVENWORTH CITY, KAN. 
Corner-stone laid September 16, 1864; dedicated December 8, 1868. Cost, $175,000. 



158 Kansas State Historical Society. 

solicited funds in all the states of South America, and suffered many priva- 
tions and had many dangerous trips. He told me that in crossing the Andes 
mountains it was so dangerous that he was blindfolded, as also the mule he 
was riding, which was led by the guide. He returned to Leavenworth, hav- 
ing been quite successful in his mission. I am not quite positive, but I 
think he told me that he reduced the indebtedness about $50,000. 

After reducing the debt, in 1874, with permission of the Holy See, he 
laid aside his dignity of bishop and retired to St. Louis University, St. 
Louis, Mo. Thence he withdrew to Woodstock College, Maryland, where 
he acted as spiritual adviser. In 1877 he was sent to Detroit, Mich., to 
open a college of the society. Here he greatly endeared himself to the peo- 
ple. In 1880 he retired once more to Woodstock. 

In 1883 he was stricken with paralysis. He lingered in this state a year, 
and underwent many sufferings. He died July 20, 1884, with all the com- 
forts of the church. 

His noble qualities were numerous, as a religionist, a priest, and a 
bishop. His virtue and genial disposition caused him to be regarded with 
confidence and affection by the young and with deepest veneration by the 
old. With the highest endowments of mind and character, he combined the 
most imperturbable modesty and humility. He had the rare gift of being 
able to adjust himself to humors and characters. But one of his finest 
characteristics was the depth of his sympathy, springing from a broad, 
warm, human heart. 

There died a good bishop, a loyal Jesuit father, and one time a colaborer 
of the great Jesuit, Father de Smet,^" in civilizing the Indians, who as a 
citizen of Kansas did more for its religious and material prosperity than 
any citizen of the state. The state of Kansas has a room in the capitol 
building at Topeka where the portraits of the distinguished men of Kansas 
are placed and cared for for all time to come. When the portrait of Bishop 
Miege shall be placed there it will represent the greatest of them all. 

The territory of Kansas, by a law of the United States government, was 
thrown open to settlement in 1854, giving citizens the right to preempt 160 
acres of land free of cost, under certain conditions. The white population 
in all that territory at that time, from the Kansas river, at its mouth, to 
the British possessions, and from the Missouri river to the Rocky Moun- 
tains, did not exceed 3000. At the end of fifty-two years, in the same ter- 
ritory, there are about 3,000,000. The growth of the Catholic population in 
the same territory and the same time is about 400,000. 

In 1855 there was one Catholic bishop and one see in all that territory, 
with a population of 700 Catholics. At the end of fifty years there are nine 
bishops and nine sees, each see having its cathedral, colleges, convents, 
parochial schools, orphan asylums, and hospitals. The character and intel- 
ligence of the inhabitants in this territoi-y cannot be excelled anywhere. 

I have submitted only a few of the many good points of Bishop Miege. He 
laid a great many good foundations and left them to others who will follow 
to build the superstructure. He was a remarkably handsome man, with a 
commanding appearance, whose presence would attract attention. He pos- 
sessed a fine mind, and was one of the most lovable of men. The most 



Note 10.— See Life, Letters and Travels of Father De Smet, Chittenden and Richardson, 
1905, 4 V. 



Missions Ammig the Indians in Kansas. 



159 



humble of his parishioners could always get his attention and be treated 
with the utmost courtesy and kindness. 

I arrived in Leavenworth May 6, 1857, when I made the acquaintance of 
Bishop Miege, whose friendship was given to me, and which is one of the 
most pleasant memories of my life. My business association, consisting in 
the construction of the cathedral from the foundation to its entire comple- 
tion, was mutually satisfactory. I had a strong affection for him when 
living, and his memory is cherished with great appreciation. 

I am indebted to Reverend Father Corbette, S. J., Detroit, Mich., who 
was administrator of Leavenworth diocese during the absence of Bishop 
Miege in South America, for information of the early life of Bishop Miege. 
During Father Coi'bette's administration of the diocese he exercised great 
ability and sound judgment, and retired from his responsibility having given 
satisfaction to the priests and people of the diocese. 

Father Corbette is the oldest living Jesuit father in the United States. 




EAST SCHOOL BUILDING AT SHAWNEE MISSION. 

Erected in 1839. This picture is a'; it appears now (1906). Boys' dormitory, chapel, and study 

rooms. In this building the territorial legislature held its sessions, in July, 1855. 

(This building is referred to in the article that follows on next page.) 



160 Kansas State Historical Society. 



THE METHODIST MISSIONS AMONG THE INDIAN 
TRIBES IN KANSAS. 

Written for the Kansas State Historical Society by Rev. J. J. LUTZ, of Eagle Lake, Minn. 

THE only white men who inhabited what is now the state of Kansas prior 
to its territorial organization, besides the Indian agents and the at- 
taches of the agencies, were traders and trappers, the soldiers in the forts, 
and the missionaries among the Indians.^ The story of the missionary op- 
erations among the various tribes inhabiting what is now the great state of 
Kansas forms an interesting chapter in Kansas history. 

The principal missions formed by the various denominations other than 
Methodist were the following: The Shawnee Baptist mission, 1831; Ottawa 
Baptist mission, by Rev. Jotham Meeker, 1837;- and the Kickapoo Catholic 
mission, 1836. ^ This denomination had two other important missions, that 
among the Osages, on the Neosho river, and that among the Pottawatomies, 
at St. Marys. The Shawnee Friends' mission was organized in 1834, ^ and 
that of the Sac and Fox, by the Presbyterian church, at Highland, Doniphan 
county, in 1837."' 

Previous to the year 1824, the date of the establishment of the Osage Pres- 
byterian mission by the Rev. Benson Pixley, there had been no missions among 
the Indian tribes of Kansas. The Missouri conference of the Methodist Epis- 
copal church was held in St. Louis September 16, 1830, Bishop Robert R. 
Roberts presiding. The city at that time contained a population of but 
5000. This session was memorable by reason of the action taken in regard 
to the mission work among the Indian tribes of Kansas. The missionary 
spii'it and the missionary society in the conference received a wonderful 
impetus at this session. The following is the preamble to the constitution 
of the society as then formed : 

"The members of the Missouri conference, considering the great neces- 
sity for missionary exertions, and feeling a willingness to aid in the great 
work of sending the Gospel among all people, form themselves into a mis- 
sionary society of the Methodist Episcopal church," etc. 

This was not a missionary society as we have it now, supported by the 
entire church; but the men of the Missouri conference, some of whom re- 
ceived less than forty dollars a year, resolved to contribute a part of their 
very limited means toward sending the Gospel to those who were in still 
greater need. The call to mission work among the Indians was heard and 
answered, and the devoted brothers, Thomas and William Johnson, entered 

Note 1.— See T. S. Huffaker's letter of October 30, 1905, in this volume, p. 129. 

Note 2. — Rev. Isaac McCoy's "History of Baptist Indian Missions," Washington. 1840; also 
his manuscript, diary, and correspondence, and the diary and correspondence of Jolham Meeker, 
both in the Historical Society's library ; Kansas Historical Collections, vol. 1-2, p. 271. 

Note 3.— See. also, this volume, p. 19 ; also vol. 8, p. 83. 

Note 4. — See Kansas Historical Collections, vols. 7 and 8, indexes, for history of Friends' 
Indian missions in Kansas ; also, Harvey's History of the Shawnee Indians, Cincinnati, 1855. 

Note 5. — For other missions of this denomination, see note, p. 20, this volume ; also, the Re- 
ports of the Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, and the files of the Missionary Herald, 
Boston. 1824-'37. 



Methodist Missions Among the Indians in Kansas. 161 



/ 





REV. THOMAS JOHNSON. 

For twenty-six years missionary among the Shawnee and other Indian tribes of Kansas ; 
one of the prominent names in American Methodism of his day. 



what became their hfe-work among the Indians. The Missouri conference 
at this date contained but twenty-nine members. 

The missionary appointments for the year 1830 read: " Shawnee Mission, 
Thomas Johnson, "« " Kanzas or Kaw Mission, Wm. Johnson." For the 

Note 6.— Rev. Thomas Johnson was born in Virginia July 11, 1802. When comparatively 
young he came to Missouri. He entered the ministry of the Methodist Episcopal church in 1826, 
and was appointed to Mount Prairie, Ark. In 1828 he was received into full connection and was 
appointed to Fishing River. For the year 1829 he was on Buffalo circuit, and at the next confer- 
ence. 1830. was appointed to the Shawnee Mission, which was in the Missouri district. Rev. Alex. 
McAlister, presiding elder. He served as superintendent of the Shawnee Mission till' 1841." wheii 
he resigned on account of failing health. He moved with his family to Cincinnati, where he 
spent nearly two years under medical treatment, after which he returned to Missouri and secured 
a home near Fayette, Howard county. Having regained his health, he was, in the fall of 1847, 
reappointed to the manual-labor school, in which capacity he served till the breaking up of the 
school, in 1862. In 1858 he settled two miles east of Westport, Mo. In 1853 a territorial govem- 

-11 



162 Kansas State Historical Society. 

years 1832 and 1833 there were four Indian missions in Kansas, comprising 
the Indian missionary district. In 1833 and 1834 it was called the north In- 
dian mission district; the southern district embracing the Indian missions in 
what is now Indian Territory. In the year 1832 missions were organized in 
four other tribes— among the Delawares, Peorias, lowas, and Sacs and 
Foxes. In 1833 the Kickapoo mission was established, and in 1838 the Pot- 
tawatomie. 

sTHE SHAWNEBjMISSION. 

We shall first describe the work among the Shawnees, as that was the 
most ambitious attempt of our church to care for the Indians of IKansas, 
and Shawnee Mission, by reason of its location at the entrance to the terri- 
tory for emigrants from the East and the part it played in the territorial 
history, became a place of peculiar interest. 

The Shawnee reservation embraced a tract of 1,600,000 acres, [described 
in the treaty of May 10, 1854, as follows: 

" Beginning at a point in the western boundary of the state of Missouri, 

ment was org-anized for Kansas and Nebraska, and in the fall of that year Mr. Johnson was 
elected as delegate to Congress by Indian votes. He went to Washington, but the territory was 
not organized and he was not received as a delegate. The Washington Unio7i spoke of him as 
"Rev. Thomas Johnson, a noble specimen of Western man." In March, 1855, he was elected to 
the Kansas territorial council on the pro-slavery ticket, and on its sitting was elected president 
of the council. His son Alex. S. Johnson was elected a member of the house for the same legis- 
lature, and was the youngest member — only twenty-three years of age. While Mr. Johnson was 
Southern born and reared, and his ancestors Southern, it was natural that he should have Southern 
and pro-slavery sympathies, but when he was called upon to decide between union and secession 
Mr. Johnson's patriotism proved superior to all sectional and social ties, and he took his stand on 
the side of the Union. On the night of January 2, 1865, he was assassinated, at his home near 
Westport, by guerrillas. Mr. Johnson was married September 7, 1829, to Miss Sarah T. Davis, of 
Clarksville, Mo. Their son. Colonel Johnson, said, in an interview with Judge Adams, that his 
parents came to Kansas on their wedding journey. To them were born three sons and four 
daughters, Alexander Soule, who died recently, being the eldest ; Andrew Monroe, whose death 
occurred more than three years ago; and William M., who lives at Red Clover, Johnson county, 
with post-office at Rosedale, Kan. Eliza married John Wornal. and has been dead about thirty 
years. Laura married Frank Waterman; she has been dead many years. Cora married Harry 
Fuller, and lives in Washington city. Edna married Wm. J. Anderson, and lives with. her sister, 
Mrs. Fuller, in Washington city.' 

Among William E. Connelley's papers is a manuscript interview with E. F. Heisler, oflKan- 
sas City, Kan., in which the story of the assassination of Thomas Johnson is told, as follows : 
"It is the common belief that Rev. Thomas Johnson was slain in his house at the Shawnee Mis- 
sion, in Johnson county, Kansas, and that his assassins were Kansas red legs. Mr. Heisler has 
gathered the proof that this belief is not in accord with the facts, which are as follows : John- 
son lived during the war in his house near Westport. It is now in the corporate limits of 
Kansas City, Mo., and not far from the magnificent home of William R. Nelson, owner of the 
Kansas City Star. He had a considerable sum of ready money, which he kept loaned out to his 
neighbors. When one loan of $1000 was about due, he went to the debtor and told him to have 
the money right on the day it was due, as he wished to use the money and must have it. The 
debtor had but $800, but he told Johnson he would pay the full $1000 the day it was due. He 
went about borrowing twenty-five dollars of one neighbor and fifty of another, always telling 
them he must liave it to make up the $1000 he had to pay Johnson on a certain day. He made the 
payment promptly, and Johnson immediately loaned it to another man to whom he had promised 
a loan. No person other than Johnson and the person to whom he turned over the $1000 
knew of this last transaction. The community supposed Mr. Johnson had the money in the 
house. That night, about eleven o'clock, he was called up by a 'hello.' Going to the door, he 
saw a group of horsemen in the road in front of his house. They said they wanted a drink of 
water. Jolinson told them to go back to the kitchen, iv the side of which they would find a 
well, and that a cup was hanging on a nail there ; that they were welcome to help them- 
selves. This did not satisfy them. They said they were cold and wanted to come into tlie house 
and get warm. Johnson told them the household had been in bed some time and that the house 
was cold, and that he did not wish to make a fire and disturb all the family. He then closed the 
door, when the ruflians began to shoot. The bullets went through the door, and one of them 
penetrated the abdomen of Johnson, who died in a few minutes. Johnson's son William was at 
home. Looking from the window of an upper-story he saw the horsemen and noted a white or 
gray horse. The family called out that Johnson was killed, and William Johnson fired on the 
murderers from the upper-story window. He heard one of the men say he 'believed Bill was at 
home and it would be useless to go in, for they probably would not get the money anyway.' The 
assassins then rode away. Some one had complained of William Johnson, and he was under orders 
from Major Ransom, Sixth cavalry, to remain at home until a certain day, when his matter 
would be inquired into. He went to Major Ransom on the day following the murder of his father 
and requested a body of soldiers and leave to go with them in search of the assassins. His re- 
quest was granted, and he was directed to be back against a certain day to have his matter dis- 
posed of, which he agreed to do. Young Johnson had some idea who the murderers were. The 
soldiers went with him to the neighborhood of where the man lived who had made the payment 



Methodist Missions Among the Indians in Kansas. 163 

three miles south of where said boundary crosses the mouth of Kansas river;' 
thence continuing south and coinciding with said boundary for twenty-five 
miles; thence due west 120 miles; thence due north, until said line shall in- 
tersect the southern boundary of the Kansas reservation; thence due east, 
coinciding with the southern boundary of said reservation, to the termination 
thereof; thence due north, coinciding with the eastern boundary of said 
reservation, to the southern shore of the Kansas river; thence along said 
southern shore of said river to where a line from the place of beginning 
drawn due west shall intersect the same — estimated to contain sixteen hun- 
dred thousand acres, more or less." » 

The tribe resided on the northeast corner of this vast tract, near Missouri 
and near the Kansas river. These lands lying in the vicinity of the larger 
streams afforded considerable bodies of good timber, interspersed with fertile 
prairies. This reservation had been assigned to the Shawnees by the treaty 
of 1825, and it would seem that the larger part of the tribe had congregated 
here by 1830, ^ their most populous settlement being in Wyandotte county south 

of $1000. There Johnson saw a white horse in a field that reminded him of the one he noticed in 
front of the house on the night of the murder. They went to the man having it in charge. He 
told a crooked story of his possession of the horse. One of the soldiers drew his pistol, and said 
to him: "Tell us the truth ; tell us all about this matter ; tell us now. If you refuse I will kill 
you. If you fail to tell the truth I will kill you when I return.' The man then said that the horse 
had been left there by a certain person he named ; that there were with him certain other per- 
sons, whom he named ; that the horse gave out and could go no further : that they left it there 
and took one of his ; that they made it plain that they would kill him if he made these things 
known. They also told him where they had been and what they had done, saying that if it be- 
came known that they had done this deed it would be by his telling it, and he would be killed. 
With this information the soldiers went in pursuit of the assassins. All of them were killed 
except one. They had to return to Johnson's trial before the last one was found. They were 
citizens of Jackson county, Missouri, and some of them were Quantrill's men. The whole matter 
was planned to get that $1000. William Johnson told these facts to Heisler. There can be no 
reasonable doubt of their accuracy." 

Note 7. — This small piece of land south of the Kansas river, now a part of Kansas City, 
Kan., lying between the Missouri line and the Kansas river, which here makes an abrupt and ir- 
regular bend north before entering the Missouri river, was reserved, Wm. E. Connelley says, 
by the government for a military or other purpose, evidently at the time of Langham's survey 
of the eastern portion of the Shawnee reservation boundaries, in 1828. Silas Armstrong after- 
wards covered the whole with his float, a diagram of which may be found in a book of the origi- 
nal surveys of Wyandotte county, the property of Mr. Connelley, on two pages, entitled "Map, 
being cause No. 1066, Wyandotte county district court." 

Note 8. — Indian Affairs, Laws, and Treaties, vol. 2, p. 618.1 

Note 9. — The following sketch of the Shawnee Indians is extracted from the article by F, 
W. Hodge, of the Smithsonian Institution, in the Encyclopedia Americana, 1904, vol. 13 : " Shaw- 
nee Indians (contracted from the Algonquian Shawanogi, 'southerners'), an important tribe 
of the Algonquian stock of North American Indians, who. according to the best evidence, were 
originally an offshoot from the Lenape or Delawares, which migrated southward ; hence their 
popular name. Jt is believed that they entered the present limits of the United States from the 
territory north of the great lakes via the lower peninsula of Michigan, various bands or divisions 
settling in southern Illinois, southern Ohio, and (the larger part) on Cumberland river. A por- 
tion of the latter drifted southeastward to the head waters of the Savannah, where they came in 
contact with the Cherokees and Catawbas, who forced them northward into Pennsylvania by 
1707, while those remaining on Cumberland river were driven away by combined Cherokees and 
Chickas-aws. They were first mentioned under the name Ouchaouanag, in 1648, as living to the 
westward of Lake Huron ; later in the century they were found by La Salle in northern Illinois, 
while others were settled along the Ohio and the Cumberland, and, indeed, had extended into 
Maryland, Virginia, and Pennsylvania, and even as far south as Mobile, Ala., in the country of 
the Creeks. They were at war with numerous tribes at various periods, as well as with the 
French, and later with the United States, from the beginning of the French and Indian war 
until about 1795, during which time they had concentrated north of the Ohio river. Anthony 
Wayne's victory, followed by the treaty of Greenville, in 1795, terminated the hostilities of the 
Indians of the Ohio valley region, a considerable part of the Shawnees moving to Missouri, within 
Spanish territory, while a few years later others migrated to White river, Indiana [Missouri?], 
on invitation of the Delawares." 

The history of the removal of the Shawnees to Kansas has never been fully written, but the 
following notes and extracts throw some light on their emigration : 

The treaty of 1825, though providing for the entire Shawnee nation, was made with the 
Cape Girardeau band of Shawnees, who moved to Kansas as soon as their lands were selected, in 
the winter of 1825-'26, settling in Wyandotte county, south of the Kansas river. Mrs. Jackson, 
grandmother of Mrs. David C. de Shane, made this statement to Wm. E. Connelley, in January, 
1897. She was then living, at the age of 125 years, as she claimed, bedfast, in the family of David C. 
de Shane, on the mixed Seneca and Shawnee reserve, about two miles from Seneca. Mo. She 
said the Delawares and Shawnees began crossing the Mississippi river when Pontiac was fight- 
ing at Detroit. They gradually increased by emigration until the Spanish governor at St. Louis 



164 Kansas State Historical Society. 

of the Kansas river. Among the earliest comers appears to have been the 
prophet/" brother of the great Tecumseh, who made his home near the 
present town of Turner. 

In the year 1835 the Rev. Isaac McCoy describes the condition of the 

Shawnees as follows : 

"Generally their dwellings are neat, hewed log cabins, erected with their 
own hands, and within them a small amount of furniture Their fields are 
enclosed with rail fences: are sufficiently large to yield them corn and 

allotted them land near Cape Girardeau, where they continued to live for some time wh.n, be- 
causfofhosUlewhitls^hey abandoned the reservation to live with the Delawares on the James 
rfver ^n what is now the southern part of Greene county. Missouri, from whence they moved to 
Kins'as She. bernVa widow with children, waited until 1828. in order that the first emigrants 

^""••'^InTs'/p'rop^o'sXwere made by the United States commissioners to the Shawanoes of Wa- 
oauehkonettf Tn Ohio, to move westward of Mississippi river. These proposals were not ac- 
cSiS to at th4t"me Nevertheless, without any special interference of our government, and it 
?sb^ieved contrary to the advice of whito men who might be supposed to have considerable in- 
fluencramonK them and whose privato interest it was that the Indians should remain in Ohio 
about on^thi?d part of them moved off in a body, in October. 1826. to the Western countni which 
had previously been offered them."-McCoy's Remarks on Indian Reform. Boston. 1827. p. 37. 

^^^•4\°e^Tplug"hlrj^tt' Stred°'fr?n;°ATi1laiz^cl^nty. Ohio, to Kansas in 1832. in care 
^t T,.i»=Rrardiner leaving their old homes September 20," and reaching the Shawnee reser- 
eltirfn ians\^'Xut'c\'ris1maT time, having^ 

Creek band were moved from the same locality to Kansas m the summer of l~t' ""°^^,^lie care 
of Joseph pJrks! in safety and without suffering. -Henry Harvey's History of the Shawnee In- 

'^'^" -Lattor^y "they'Tad chiefly congregated at and near Wapaughkonetta. twenty-nine miles 
r,^..tl,nf Pinna from whence they finally emigrated southwest of Missouri in 1^26 and 1833 The 
S^awanese were Zided into four tribes, vil. the Chillicothe. Mequochake, Piqua. and Kisco- 
pokJe TecSa wis of the last-named tribe, and, on account of the.r "-est'ess. warnng pr^ 
nen^ftiesthiT tribe numbered very few fighting men when they left Ohio. The prophet, 
ptsauatawa was a twin brother of Tecumtha. a man void of talent or merit, a brawling, mis- 
cWevousTndi^n demrgogue."-Col. John Johnston, in Gist's C.ncinnat. Miscellany. 1845. vol. 2. 
p. 242. 

,. . ,, .. „f QctomVipr 18«*7 the Rev Charles Bluejacket visited Wyandotte 

NOTK 10 -In *\'"°f!'°4hingf^rtL grave of the prophet. Bluejacket had been absent 
county for *% P^-^P^^^ °4^^^^^^^"^/?™and X cu Hi of the white man had so changed 

twenty-five years and the growth "* tr^^e^^^rt he was unable to locate it The prophet was 
the face of the '^o^^^ry *hat at ter noui s ^^^ Wyandotte county line. Catharine 

buried a mile or so south or sou di west otArge^^^^^^^ southeast quarter and the southeast 

^'°^^fnrttnortLa=t quarter sectfon 32 township 11 south, range 25 east. Because of ex- 
quarter of the northeast quarte.o ^gid/and died on the 2S>th of October fol owing, in his 
posure at the time, 1^'"_^J/J^''^^ '^^"^"^''1^.^ Kansas State Historical Society received from the 
liSof rhe^RetTa^VM^cgoris^he'f ollow1ng\^^^^^^^^ of the death of the prophet, written in 
1837 by Dr J. A. Chute, of Westport, Mo.: 

'• In Nov. last there died in the country of the Shaw- 
nees a few miles from this pt., the Shawnee prophet 
TensquLatawa], generally reputed to be a twin brother of 
Tecumseh He had [been] sick several weeks, when he 
sent tor a gentleman [connec]ted with the Baptist mission 
to visit and prescribe tor him. At the [same time with] 
thilgentleman I also called to see him. I went ac[com- 
pani]ed byan interpreter, who .conducted me by a w.nd- 
in\r nath thfrough t] he woods till we descended a hill, at 
hi bottom of w^liich. s[eclud]ed apparently from all the 
world, was the ' Prophet's town [ l- ojj4?] huts, built 
U. the ordinary Indian style, constituted the entire settle- 
ment ■The house of the prophet was not distinguished at 
a^l from the others. A low portico covered with bark^ 
which we were obliged to stoop to pass under, was erected 
before it & [a] half-starved dog greeted us with a growl 
as we entered. The interior of the house which was 
hghted only by the half-open door, showed at the first 

vfew the taste of one who hated civilization. Two or three . . .u.««-K».y 

platforms built against the wall served the purpose of bed- •*J-^^«»1'^ 

steads, covered with blankets &. skins. A few ear.s of corn TEN-SQUA-TA-WA. 

^nd a nuantitv of dried pumpkins (a favorite dish of the 

tndianT) were hanging on poles overhead ; a f ew imple- The prophet, 

ments of .savage domestic [ ], as wooden spoons & trays, 
ITiDes &c lay scattered about the floor. [every]thing in- 

pipes, sc, lay „„rner of the room, cl[ose to an] apology for a fireplace, contained a 

'^','^tf'".^ o? solft r 1 ewlted about aToot from the floor and covered with a blanket This 
•"'^ thThpd of the prophet Here was fallen, savage greatness. I involuntarily stop[ped] for a 
was the bed of the P.™P^"/j^^^;;^tacle of a man whose wo[rd was once law to numerous tribes. 
'""'"f";nl on a miserable palfefdy^^^^ poverty, neglected by all but his own family. He that 
ex^tethhimsXhaHberbasai lappr^^ He drew aside his blanket and discovered a 




' Methodist Missions Among the Indians in Kansas. 165 

culinary vegetables plentifully. They keep cattle and swine, work oxen, 
and use horses for draught; and own some plows, wagons, and carts." ii 

It was to the vicinity of the prophet's town that the Rev. Thomas John- 
son followed the Indians, built a log house, and began his work as a mis- 
sionary among the sons of the forest, in 1830. The following letter, ad- 
dressed to the Rev. Jesse Greene,'- presiding elder of the Missouri district, 

form emaciated in the extreme, but the broad proportions of which indicated that it had once 
been the seat of great strength. His countenance was sunken and haggard, but appeared — it 
might have been fancy — to exhibit something of the soul within. I thought I could discover, 
spite of the guards of hypocrisy, something of the marks which pride, ambition and the work- 
ings of a dark, designing mind had stamped there. I inquired of his symptoms, which he related 
particularly, & then proposed to do something for his relief. He replied that he was willing to 
submit to medical treatment, but was just then engaged in contemplation, or 'study,' as the in- 
terpreter called it, & he feared the operation of medicine might interrupt his train of reflection. 
He said his 'study' would occu[py] three days longer, after which he should be glad to see me 
again. Accordingly, in three days I repaired again to his cabin, but it was too late. He was 
speechless and evidently beyond the reach of human assistance. The same day he died. The 
hist[ory] of the prophet until the late war has been often told. When, in conjunction with 
his brother Tecumseh. he was plotting a union of all the Indian nations of the continent against 
the growing pow[er of] the U. S., & preached, as he alleged, with a direct communication [from] 
heaven, his influence was almost unbounded. Many tribes beside [the] Shawnees believed in him. 
but the charm was in a great [measure] broken by the disastrous result of the battle of Tippe- 
canoe. The Indians engaged in this battle with all the enthusiasm that [superst]ition could in- 
spire, assured by the prophet that he had power to change the powder of the whites to ashes. 
Tensquatawa, who possessed in an eminent degree that part of valor called prudence, placed 
himself [on] an eminence out of harm's way and encouraged his men, singing and dancing to con- 
ciliate the favor of the G. S. [Great Spirit]. But all was vain. The Indians were killed in great 
numbers, and the reputation of the prophet sank, never again to rise. Since the war the prophet 
has not figured at all. He seems to have lived in obscurity, always keeping a small but de- 
creasing band around him. He maintained his character to the last, professing to hold continual 
intercourse with heaven, and opposing every encroachment of civilization upon the venerated 
customs of his forefathers. He hated the whites, their language, their religion, and their modes 
of life. He understood [English], it is said, but would never speak it. Nothing vexed him 
[more t]han the operations of the missions and their success in introduc[ing the] Christian re- 
ligion & civilized arts. He was frequently known, [when] an assembly had met for worship, [to] 
stand before the door and interrupt the meeting by noise [some] times sinking the dignity of the 
prophet in very unbecoming acts to eff'ect this purpose. Among his pretensions was that of 
skill in medicine, or rather in healing ; for I believe his means of cure was mostly conjuration and 
ceremonies deriving their efficiency from divine interposition. A Shawnee of intelligence and 
piety, yielding to the importunity of friends who had faith in the prophet, once called on him to 
administer relief to two of his children. Tens, told him he would visit them, but he must first 
take time to dream. Accordingly he retired to his pallet, & after a nap, in which he communed 
with the Great S., he hastened to communicate the results of this revelation, assuring the 
parents that the pi-escriptions of the Deity himself must infallibly succeed. The children, how- 
ever, died, & the parents' faith in the prophet was probably buried with them. He always main- 
tained that he should never die. Several times during his last sickness he swooned & was 
thought to be dead. He took advantage of these occasions and assured his followers that he 
actually died temporarily but was restored again by divine power. Why he should seek the aid of 
a white physician in his sickness seems rather mysterious. Perhaps, & I have thought it 
probable, the near approach of death caused his own spirit to quail, and pride for once gave way 
to fear, but further reflection on his weakness induced him to discard aid ofi'ered by one of a race 
he so heartily detested. The prophet held the rank of chief, and was regarded by his country- 
men as a man of talents, aside from his religious pretensions. All agree, howevei-, in ranking 
him below Tecumseh, whose memory is still venerated by the Sh. [Shawnees] as the pride of the 
nation. Tensquat. was considered a good councillor, but I have frequently heard the Indians 
complain that he made too long speeches. They sometimes threw out remarks rather derogatory 
to his char, for sourcery, and some even openly call him a [fraud]. Some historians have said 
that Tecumseh & the prophet were twin brothers : others that they and [a] third, called Kum. 
[Kumskaukau], were of one birth. But the true account, as I have derived it from some old S. 
[squaw?] who certainly must have known, is that Tecumseh was the oldest of the family, and that 
between him and Tens., who was one of two at a birth, a sister intervened." 

Note 11.— Isaac McCoy's Annual Register of Indian Afl'airs, vol. 1, 1835, p. 23. 

Note 12.— The establishment of missions among the Indian tribes of Kansas by the Metho- 
dist church was largely due to the efforts of Mr. Greene. If he was not the founder of the 
Shawnee and Kaw missions, in 1830, he was an important factor in their organization, being pre- 
siding elder of the district bordering on Kansas from 1828 to 183C, The organization of the mis- 
sionary society of the Missiouri conference was largely due to Mr. Greene. His death occurred 
in 1847. He is buried at Drake's chapel, Henry county, Missouri. Mrs. Greene died March 21, 
1893. One of the teachers at Shawnee Mission deserving notice is Mary Todd, who was born in 
Bristol. England, December 11, 1812. When six years of age she emigrated with her parents to 
America. They settled in New York city, where they united with the old John Street Methodist 
Episcopal Church, the cradle of American Methodism. In 1838 she was appointed by the New 
York conference as a missionary to the Shawnee Indians. After a midwinter trip alone by stage 
she reached the old Shawnee Mission, a stranger in a strange land. While engaged in teaching 
in the mission she met Rev. Jesse Greene, presiding elder of the district, which included parts of 
Missouri, Iowa, and Arkansas. At the mission, in June, 1839, in the presence of no white people 
save the mission family, but surrounded by her Indian pupils, she was married to Rev. Jesse 
Greene. 



166 



Kansas State Historical Society. 



by Indian Agent Vashon, 
tells something of the in- 
ception of our first Indian 
mission in Kansas: '^ 

"Indian Agency, near 
Kansas, July, 1830. Rever- 
end Sir— I have the pleasure 
now to make the communi- 
cation which I promised 
when I had the happiness 
of conversing with you at 
my office on the subject of 
establishing a mission for 
the instruction of the chil- 
dren of the hapless portion 
of the human family en- 
trusted to my care in this 
part of my agency. I have 
been informed by Rev. Mr. 
Dodge, whom I had the 
pleasure to meet with a few 
days ago, at Harmony Mis- 
sion, '^ that the American 
Board of Foreign Missions 
will not have it in their 
power to comply with the 
apphcation which I made 
through him for a mission- 
ary establishment at or near 
this place in less time proba- 
bly than two or three years, 
as they have a great many 
more applications than they 
can possibly comply with, 
and he therefore solicited 
me to request your earnest 
attention to the subject 
without delay. And I now 
have the pleasure to inform you that I have this day been requested by Fish, 
a Shawnee chief, also Wm. Jackson, a white man, raised with the Shaw- 
nees, to make application for the establishment of a mission among them 

Note 13.— "As we passed through the Shawanoe settlements adjoining the line of the state 
of Missouri, through the politeness of Maj. John Campbell. United States Indian agent, acting 
for the Shawanoes and Delawares. I had an interview in council with upwards of twenty Shawa- 
noes, on the subject of establishing a mission among them. The celebrated Shawanoe prophet, 
the brother of Tecumseh, who figured in the last war, was present, and, in behalf of the rest, 
responded to my remarks, professedly approving the proposition, though no doubt he secretly 
was opposed to everything like education or religion. They were desired to reflect on what I had 
proposed, and to be prepared to answer me, as I would repass their place on my way home. 

"A white man by the name of Fish, who had lived with the Shawanoes from a small boy, 
and was in all respects identified with them, had become a principal of a clan which had lived 
many years in the state of Missouri, and which was in a good degree civilized. I took Fish to the 
hou.se of Capt. Anthony Shane, a half-breed, and who was the United States interpreter; and on 
his informing me that he and his party desired a school for the instruction of their youth, I as- 
sured him that he should be furnished with one: and that, whatever might be the answer of the 
rest of the nation to my propo-sals, he might rely upon the establishment of a school for his party. 
I would immediately begin to make preparation for it, and on my return his wishes should be met 
with as little delay as possible. Two others of the party at the same time urged me to establish 
the school. 

"On the 22d of November I returned to this place, when Captain Cornstalk and Capt. Will- 
iam Perry, chiefs, met me, to deliver the decision of the nation, which was favorable to the 
establishment of the school proposed. These chiefs, however, and most of the Shawanoes, con- 
sented to my propositions rather through courtesy than on account of a desire really to enjoy the 
advantages of education. Like most Indians not much advanced in civilization, they felt little de 

Note 14.— This mission was established in 1821 among the Osages, in Vernon county, Mis- 
souri.- See Vernon County History, 1887, p. 144. 




REV. JESSE GREENE. 
One of the founders of the Indian missions, and for four- 
teen years connected with the mission work. 



Methodist Missions Among the Indians in Kansas. 167 



for the education of their 
children, and I most earn- 
estly solicit your attention 
to the subject. 

"Fish, the Shawnee 
chief, has a son by the name 
of Paschal, who was put to 
school when he was a boy. 
He can speak English very 
well. He is a sober, steady, 
moral, good man. He has 
an Indian family, and is in- 
dustriously employed in 
farming, and I think he 
would make the most effi- 
cient male interpreter that 
could be procured. Captain 
Shane, the Shawnee inter- 
preter, has a stepdaughter 
by the name of Nancy, who 
is a widow with one child. 
She speaks English very 
well, and is a woman of 
most excellent character, 
and, I think, much disposed 
to be pious. She has been 
brought up in the habits of 
civilized life entirely from 
her infancy, and I think bet- 
ter qualified for all the va- 
rious duties of a female 
interpreter than any other 
that I know of, and, if I am 
not greatly mistaken, will 
devoutly rejoice to have an 
opportunity of living once 
more under the influence of 
the Gospel. Captain Shane also has a son, who has been six months at the 
Choctaw academy in Kentucky, where I expect he will be again sent. 

"The vicinity of the smith shop, I think, would be the most judicious lo- 
cation that could be selected for the establishment of the missionaries. Mr. 
Harmon Davis, the smith for the Indians, is a man of most excellent moral 
character; he is a member of the church, and has a large and amiable family. 
His children are mostly daughters and nearly all grown. I feel convinced that 
no other situation in the country possesses as many advantages. I there- 
fore recommend it, in the strongest possible light, as the most judicious lo- 
cation that can be selected. . . . Geo. Vashon. " 

Of the first mission, established on the bluffs of the Kansas river, we have 
been able to learn but little. Joseph S. Chick, a prominent business man 
of Kansas City, Mo., and a son of Col. Wm. M. Chick, one of the pioneers of 
Kansas city, in a recent letter to Rev. Joab Spencer, of Slater, Mo., says: 

"I was at the old Shawnee Mission about three weeks, but failing to have 









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MRS. MARY GREENE. 

For two years a teacher, and for many years connected 

with missionary work. 



sire for schools, and still less to hear preaching. With Fish and his party it was otherwise ; they 
appreciated in a good degree the former, and were favorably inclined to the latter, and through 
them 1 had hoped that access could be successfully obtained to the main body of the nation. 
But, unfortunately for my plan, while I had been absent in the wilderness, the Rev. Mr. McAl- 
lister and the Rev. Thomas Johnson, of the Methodist denomination, visited the Shawanoes, and 
made similar propositions. The main body of the Shawanoes objected, 'because,' they said, 
'they intended to accept the proposals I had made them.' The result, however, was an agree- 
ment that the Methodists should establish a school with Fish's party. In this matter I felt a 
disappointment which I could not remedy ; but I was still resolved to carry out the design of 
establishing a mission in the nation."— Isaac McCoy's History of Baptist Indian Missions, 1840, 
P. 404. 



168 Kansas State Historical Society. 

school, I went home. The building as I remember was a two-story, double 
log house, with rooms about twenty feet square, with outhouses, smoke- 
house, chicken-house, etc. There was no teacher there at that time. There 
was a man by the name of Waugh '•'' that had been a teacher, and was staying 
there at the time, but I do not recall any other. ' ' 

Rev. Lorenzo Waugh was appointed as missionary to the Shawnees, with 
Rev. Thomas Johnson, for the years 1837 and 1838; so this was about the 
time that Mr. Chick was at the old Shawnee Mission school. It was at the 
old Shawnee Mission that the late Col. Alexander S. Johnson was born, July 
11, 1832. His father, Rev. Thomas Johnson, was born in Virginia exactly 
thirty years before, July 11, 1802. 

At the conference of 1832 the first fruits of the two missions were reported 
by the Johnsons, nine white and thirty-one Indian members, which was con- 
sidered an encouraging beginning ; so that the sum of $4800 was appro- 
priated that year to the Indian missions within the bounds of the conference. 

In the month of August, 1833, Bishop Soule had, on his way to the 
Missouri conference, held at Cane Hill, Ark., visited our Indian missions 
among the Delawares and Shawnees. The bishop spent a few days with 
Thomas and WiUiam Johnson in surveying the ground, with a view of ex- 
tending the mission work, and as a result he determined to establish two 
additional stations, one among the Peorias and the other among the Kicka- 
poos. The conference report for the year 1834 shows a total of 11 white 
and 380 Indian church members, in the four Indian missions in Kansas— 
the Shawnee, Delaware, Peoria, and Kickapoo. The report of the mission- 
ary society for 1834'" has this to say of the Shawnees: 

"Some of the leading men who had considerable opposition to the Gospel 
are now cordially united in the work of reformation and the prospect is 
truly flattering. Upwards of sixty church members, some of whom are 
able to instruct their brethren in the things of God— school prospering." 

The following letter, written by Rev. Thomas Johnson to Rev. Jesse 
Greene, is full of encouragement : 

"Shawnee Mission, February 17, 1834. 
"Dear Bro. Greene: We have great excitement in the Indian country; 
some of the leading men of the Shawnee nation have lately surrendered 
their prejudices ; twelve or fourteen have lately joined our society. The 
Peoria nation has submitted to the yoke of Christ— forty of them joined last 
Sabbath week. Write to us and let us know when you will come to see us. 
I will try to be at home. Yours in haste, Thomas Johnson." 

At the conference of 1832 the Kansas Indian missions were formed into 
a separate district, called the Indian Mission district, and Thomas Johnson 
appointed superintendent, which position he held till 1841, when he was 
compelled to resign because of ill health. Up to 1836 the appointment of 
the missionary was to "mission and school," and he had charge of both re- 
ligious and educational work, under the direction of the superintendent. 
When the manual-labor school was opened a minister was placed in separate 
charge of that institution. At the conference of 1842 the ofl^ce of "super- 
intendent" gave way to that of "presiding elder." Prior to the establish- 
ment of the manual- labor school, mission schools were conducted in each 

Note 15. — Autobiography of Rev. Lorenzo Waug-h, 1884, chapters 7 and 8. 

Note 16. — During the year 1834 Rev, William Johnson and wife are mentioned as assistants 
at the mission ; scholars, 27; hopeful native converts, 40 ; other natives, 34 ; white members, 4. 
—McCoy's Annual Register, January, 1835, pp. 23. 24. 



Methodist Missions Among the Indians in Kansas. 169 

tribe, the missionary securing some lady to do the teaching. This lady was 
often the wife of the missionary. The salary of the missionary was the 
regular disciplinary allowance of $100 per annum for himself, and the same 
for his wife, and there was very little money with which to equip the sta- 
tion. Rev. Joab Spencer, surviving missionary to the Shawnees, writes that 
in the early days Rev. Thomas Johnson received a call from one of the church 
officials, and that Mrs. Johnson desired a better equipment for her table 
than they had ordinarily, but Mr. Johnson said that the official must put 
up with their plain fare. So he, like th" rest, ate from a tin plate. Mr. 
Johnson had no horse, and sometimes in making his trips had to ride an ox 
instead. 




SHAWNEE INDIAN CHURCH. 

From a drawing- made from a description furnished by Rev. L. B. Stateler, who was missionary to 
this tribe, and erected it in 1840-'41. It was sometimes used as council-house. 

The church building belonging to the Shawnee Mission was located ^^ in a 
beautiful grove on a country road leading from Westport into the Indian 
country, and was about four miles west of the manual-labor school, and 
about six miles southwest of Kansas City. The manual-labor school was 



Note 17. — The following location of mission sites among the Shawnees was g-iven the secre- 
tary by Rev. Joab Spencer, under date of February 17, 1906: 

Shawnee Mission, established 1830, located on the northeast quarter of the southwest quarter 
section 24, township 11, range 24, Wyandotte county. 

Shawnee manual-labor school, built in 1839, southwest quarter section 3, township 12, range 
25, Johnson county. 

Shawnee church, north half of southeast quarter section 11, township 12, range 24, Johnson 
county. 

The prophet's town, northeast quarter of southwest quarter section 32, township 11, range 
25, Wyandotte county. 

Quaker mission, northeast quarter section 6, township 12, range 25, Johnson county. 

Baptist mission, northeast quarter section 5, township 12, range 26, Johnson county. 



170 Kansas State Historical Society. 

not erected on the old mission premises, but was four miles south of the 
original site of Turner. The church building was constructed of hewn logs, 
and was about 20 x 40 feet, plain and old-fashioned, and faced to the north, 
a door in the south end of the building opening on the camp-ground and 
cemetery. The date of its erection was about 1840, services before this 
having been held in the school building. Quite a number of whites attended 
the services, which consisted of preaching, morning and evening. Class- 
meetings were held at private houses. Love-feasts were held in connection 
with quarterly meetings and camp-meetings, the latter being held annually 
on the grounds near the church, and were attended by Methodists from 
other tribes. A parsonage was connected with the church. This historic 
old meeting-house stood till the latter part of the war, when it was torn 
down and used for fuel. A part of the time it was loopholed and used by 
the Kansas militia as a fort. Nothing is left but the little reservation of 
five acres used for a burying-ground. 

The conference of 1835 ^^ appointed Rev. William Ketron as missionary to 
the Shawnees. Mr. Ketron was a Southerner, having joined the Holston 
conference on trial in 1825, and was transferred to the Missouri conference 
in 1829. He served but one year in the Indian mission in Kansas. His as- 
sistants in the school and mission work were Mrs. Ketron, his wife, Mrs. 
Miller, Rev. David G. Gregory, and Mrs. Gregory. They had thirty-four 
scholars under their instruction, who were instructed in English gratui- 
tously. Nineteen of the pupils were supported by the mission, and lived 
in the mission family; the others received one meal a day at the mission 
house, and were otherwise supported by their parents. It seems that the 
industrial feature which Mr. Johnson inaugurated upon such a large scale 
a few years later was introduced at this time, as five of the boys were 
learning cabinet-making and two shoemaking. The missionaries taught 
some of the Shawnees to read in their native language, and some of these 
in time became teachers of others. Instruction in Indian was placed under 
the immediate notice of native class-leaders of the church. A small book in 
the Shawnee language, on religious subjects, and some hymns, was published 
by the missionaries, and introduced among the people with good effect, i* 
Some of the native church members, who numbered 105 at this time, took 
active part in public religious exercises, and had prayer in their families. 
The next year, 1836, Rev. Thomas Johnson was assisted by Mrs. Johnson, 
Rev. N. T. Shaler, Rev. D. G. Gregory, and a Mr. Holland. ^o 

The year 1838 dates a new era in the history of the Methodist Indian 
missions in Kansas — the establishment of the Shawnee manual-labor 
school. 21 This meant the discontinuance of the separate Methodist schools 

Note 18. — Isaac McCoy's Annual Register of Indian Affairs, January, 1836, pp. 24, 25. 

Note 19. — Mr. McCoy mentions. January, 1836, that advanced school-books had been printed 
on the Baptist press by Jotham Meeker — two for the Baptists and one for the Methodists; also, 
a small monthly periodical entitled Sanwaunowe Kesauthwauor Shawanoe Sun. — Regrister, p. 25. 

Note 20.— Isaac McCoy's Annual Register of Indian Affairs, May, 1837, p. 27. 

Note 21. — Mrs. Julia Ann Stinson, of Tecumseh, widow of Thomas Nesbit Stinson, made 
the following statement, April 21, 1906, regarding the building of the Shawnee manual-labor 
school : Her grandfather, Henry Rogers, was a white man, stolen from his home in Virginia 
when a child, for Blackfish, a Shawnee Indian chief in Kentucky, who had lost his son. He grew 
up in Blackfish's family and married his daughter. Here he became quite a wealthy man. Mrs. 
Stinson did not remember when her grandfather started west, but said that he sold out in Ken- 
tucky and came to Missouri with his family and slaves, to where, her grandmother told her, were 
great barracks, where they staid quite a while, and her grandfather died. Mrs. Rogers came 



Methodist Missions Among the Indians in Kansas. 171 

among the tribes and the education of the children at this central institution. 
At the general conference of 1836 Rev. Thomas Johnson induced that body 
to vote $75,000 for the establishment of the Indian manual-labor school, 
and the government at Washington granted him 2400 acres of the finest land 
for his Indian mission. 

This amount alleged to have been voted is so large as to raise a question, 
which resulted in the following correspondence with the missionary society 
of the Methodist Episcopal church : 

"Missionary Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church, 

150 Fifth Avenue, New York, April 24, 1906. 
"Rev. W. C. Evans, D. D., Topeka, Kan.: 

"My Dear Doctor Evans— Yours of April 9, addressed to Doctor 
Leonard, has been handed to me for reply. I have been compelled to make 
some delay because of absence from the oflRce in visiting conferences, mak- 
ing it impossible for me to search the records for the facts concerning which 
you inquire. I do not find any action of the board taken in 1836 that ap- 
propriated money for the Shawnee school. At the meeting held November 
16 of that year I find this record, which possibly is the origin from which 
emanated the statement to which you refer, viz., that $75,000 is appropri- 
ated for the Shawnee school: 'The treasurer also stated that he had received 
from the War Department $750, being one-fourth of the funds set apart for 
education and for missions by the treaty with the Ottawas and the Chippe- 
was. ' I find several items in the records of the board for 1838 that relate 
to the Shawnee industrial-training school. I send you these quotations, 
thinking that they may be of value to you in furnishing the information de- 
sired by the Kansas State Historical Society. 

Yours sincerely, S. 0. Benton." 

From the records of the board of managers of the missionary society of the Methodist 
Episcopal church. 

April 13, 1S38: "It was mentioned that Brother Johnson, presiding elder 
and superintendent of the Shawnee Mission, with an Indian of that nation, 
would attend our anniversary. A committee was ordered to be appointed to 
to take charge of the missionary lyceum ; Nathan Bangs, David M. Reese 
and George Coler constitute the committee. ' ' 

May 16, 1838: "Certain documents from the Shawnee Mission having 
been read, they were on motion referred to a committee of five, viz. : Rev. 
Dr. Bangs, Rev. Dr. Luckey, Joseph Smith, Stephen Dando, and B. Dis- 
brow. ' ' 

May 30, 1838: "Doctor Bangs, from the committee appointed at the last 
meeting, made the following report, which was adopted: J 

' The committee appointed to take into consideration certain documents presented to the 
board of managers respecting the necessity and expediency of establishing a large central school 
for the benefit of Indian children and youth north of the Cherokee line, southwest of the Mis- 
souri river, and east of the Rocky Mountains, have had the same under consideration, and beg 
leave to present the foUoviring as the result of their deliberations: 

' For several years past our missionaries have had schools upon a small scale among the 
Shawnee and other tribes of Indians in that region of country who have become in part Chris- 
tianized ; and though these schools have exerted a salutary influence upon those who have at- 
tended them, yet, being small, and divided among so many distant tribes, they are necessarily 
limited in their influence, expensive in their support, as well as difficult of management. 

' It appears, moreover, that this being a part of the country ceded by the United States to 
the Indians for the perpetual possession, other tribes are moving into the neighborhood, to 
whom it is desirable to impart the benefits of religious, moral, and intellectual, as well as me- 
chanical and agricultural instruction, that they may in due time be exalted to the benefits and 
immunities of a Christian and civilized community, and this is most likely to be accomplished by 
the employment of suitable and efficient means for the education of their children and youth. 

■ From the humane policy of the general government of the United States, in the efforts they 
made to rescue the savages of our wildernesses from their state of barbarism, by means of 
schools, we have reason to believe, if it be determined to establish a school of a character contem- 

on to Kansas, bringing with her twenty slaves, who, Mrs. Stinson thought, were the first ever 
brought to Kansas. Later, Thomas Johnson borrowed $4000 from her grandmother, Mrs. Henry 
Rogers, and with this money built the Shawnee manual-labor school, his second mission building. 
Mr. Johnson repaid the money later. Mrs. Stinson's parents, Polly Rogers and Mackinaw Bosh- 
man, were married about 1824 or 1825, as their oldest child, Annie (Mrs. N. T. Shaler), was at 
least eight years older than Mrs. Stinson, who was born in March, 1834. 



172 Kansas State Historical Society. 

plated in the documents above referred to, that pecuniary means may be obtained from the g-ov- 
ernment to carry the plan into eflfect. and also an annuity for its support from year to year. 

'Under these views and impressions, the committee submit the following resolutions for the 
concurrence of the board : 

'Re.ioh'ed, 1. That it be. and hereby is. recommended to the Missouri annual conference t» 
adopt such measures as they may consider suitable for the establishment of a central manual- 
labor school for the special benefit of Indian children and youth, in such place and under such 
regulations as they may judge most fit and proper. 

'Resolved, i. That whenever the said conference shall so resolve, this board pledge them- 
selves to cooperate with them in carrying the plan into effect; provided, that a sum not exceed- 
ing $10,000 shall be drawn from the treasury of the missionary society of the Methodist Epis- 
copal church for any one year for the support of the schools so established. 

'Resolved, 3, That, with a view to secure the aid of the government of the United States in 
furnishing the pecuniary means necessary for the establishment and support of such a school as 
is contemplated, our corresponding secretary, or Dr. Samuel Luckey. be. and hereby is. requested 
to accompany our brother, the Rev. T. Johnson, to the city of Washington, and lay before the 
proper officer or officers having the superintendence of Indian affairs, or, if need be, submit to 
Congress, the plan of the contemplated school, and solicit aid in such way and manner as may be 
judged most suitable for the establishment and support of said school. 

All which is respectfully submitted. N. Bangs, Chairman.' 

"The presiding bishop (Soule), in alluding to the call for the present 
meeting, gave his views fully in favor of the establishment of a central 
school in the Indian country. The bishop had himself been in this country, 
and was intimately acquainted with the tribes over whom Brother Johnson 
has the superintendence. 

"Bishop Andrew concurred in the remarks of the presiding officer, so 
far as his knowledge went. 

"Brother Johnson also gave his opinion as to the wants of the tribes in 
the Southwest, their present condition and prospects. 

"Letters were read from Major Cummins, the Indian agent, fully ac- 
cording with the representations made in the documents which have been 
read to this board. 

"Doctor Bangs offered the following resolution, which was unanimously 
passed : 

'Resolved, That our treasurer be authorized to pay to Brother Johnson the amount of his 
traveling expenses to and from this place, and that Brother Johnson be requested, on his return, 
to stop at as many of the principal places as his other engagements will allow, hold missionary 
meetings and take up collections for the missionary society, and account with the treasurer for 
the amount of said collections.' " 

June 20, 1838: "Doctor Luckey stated that he had just returned from 
his mission to Washington city in behalf of the Southwestern Indians, and 
that success had attended his mission. A full report would be hereafter 
presented." 

July 13, 1838: "Doctor Luckey presented the report of his doings at 
Washington, as promised at the last meeting. See documents, 'Report of 
Delegation on Indian Affairs,' and accompanying documents 1, 2." 

"I am unable to find the documents referred to in this last action. It 
may be that they are in some inaccessible place, stored with old papers be- 
longing to the missionary society, or it may be that they have been lost in 
some of the removals of the headquarters of the missionary society. 

S. 0. Benton." 

At the conference session which met at Boonville, September 26, 1838, it 
was decided to build a manual-labor school, which was to be patronized by 
the six tribes among which the church labored. This school was in opera- 
tion a year after action was taken. The report of the mission committee 
at this conference session may be regarded as the foundation of the Shawnee 
manual-labor school, and reads as follows: 

"Whereas, The board of managers of the missionary society of the 
Methodist Episcopal church have recommended to the Missouri annual con- 
ference to adopt such means as they consider suitable for the establishment 
of a central manual-labor school for the benefit of Indian children and youth 
in such place and under such regulations as they may judge most fit and 
proper; and 

"Whereas, The government of the United States has stipulated to aid 



Methodist Missions Among the Indians in Kansas. 173 

liberally in the erection of suitable buildings for said school, and also to aid 
annually in its support; and 

"Whereas, The Shawnee nation of Indians in general council assembled, 
and in compliance with the wishes of the government have consented to the 
establishment of such school on their lands near the boundary of the state 
of Missouri, which is deemed a most eligible situation: therefore, 

"Resolved, 1, That we, fully concurring with the board of managers of the 
missionary society of the Methodist Episcopal church, do hereby agree to 
establish a manual-labor school for the benefit of Indian children and youth 
on the Shawnee lands near the boundary line of the state of Missouri, to be 
called . 

' 'Resolved, 2, That a committee of three be appointed, whose duty it shall 
be to erect suitable buildings for the accommodation of the proposed school; 
secondly, to employ competent teachers, mechanics, a farmer, and such other 
persons as may be necessary; thirdly, to exercise a general supervision over 
the institution and report to this conference annually. 

' 'Resolved, 3, That the above-named committee be and are hereby instructed 
to erect, for the accommodation of said school, two buildings, to serve as school- 
houses and teachers' residences, each to be 100 feet long and 30 wide and 
two stories high, with an ell running back, 50 feet by 20, and two stories 
high; thirdly, buildings for four mechanics, with shops; fourthly, such farm 
buildings as they may judge necessary; provided, however, that if, in the 
judgment of the committee, the expenses of the above-named buildings are 
likely to be greater than such a sum as may be estimated by the missionary 
committee of this conference, they may make such changes as they may 
think proper." 




HOME OF MISSIONARY AND TEACHERS AT SHAWNEE MISSION. 

Erected in 1839. This picture is as it appears now (1906). Mrs. Bishop Hendrix, of Kansas City, Mo., was 

born in this building, while her father. Doctor Scarritt, was a teacher in the manual-labor school. 

( See school building on page 159.) 



174 Kansas State Historical Society. 

The location selected for the manual-labor school was in a beautiful 
little valley about three miles southwest of W estport, Mo., and on the Cali- 
fornia road. Work on the new buildings was begun by Mr. Johnson about 
the first of February 1839. -- At this time he had 400 acres of land enclosed, 
12 acres of which was planted in apple trees, it being the first orchard set 
out in Kansas, and 176 acres were planted in corn. Upward of about 40,- 
000 rails were made in a short time by the Shawnee Indians. About forty 
hands were employed, and the buildings were soon under way. Brick-kilns 
were put up for the burning of brick, while some were shipped from St. Louis, 
and lumber from Cincinnati. The two large brick buildings erected at this 
time were on the south side of the California road. The building farthest 
east was 110 by 30 feet and two stories high. It was used as the school- 
house and dormitory for the boys and the home of the superintendent. 
The chapel was on the first floor of this building. This is one of the most 
historically interesting buildings in the state of Kansas and one of its ter- 
ritorial capitals. ^T Here the first territorial legislature of Kansas, which 
was called the "bogus" legislature, met and passed laws. Rev. Thomas 
Johnson, a Virginian by birth, who very naturally sympathized with the 
South, was chosen president of the council, or upper house of the legislature. 
The building just west of this one was built of brick and was 100 by 30 feet, 
with an ell. It served as the boarding-house, with a large dining-hall and 
table capable of accommodating between 200 and 300 people at a time. These 
two large buildings were within 100 yards of each other. Between them, 
and near the road, was a fine spring. Log houses and shops went up all over 
the place. Blacksmith shops, wagon shops, shoemaker shops, barns, grana- 
ries and tool-houses were erected ; and a brick-yard, a sawmill and steam 
flour-mill were added to the mission. The latter was capable of grinding 
300 bushels of wheat per day. 

The school was opened in the new building in October, 1839. The report 
of the first year of the school by the superintending committee. Rev. 
Thomas Johnson, Rev. Jerome C. Berry man, and Rev. Jesse Greene, made 
in September, 1840,-^ shows that the new project was a success. The re- 
port shows that seventy-two scholars were in attendance during the school 
year, which opened in October, 1839, and closed in September, 1840. The 
most of these were permanent scholars, though some stayed but a short 
time. None were counted unless they stayed a month. The different 
tribes patronizing the school were represented as follows: Shawnees, 27; 
Delawares, 16; Chippewas, 2; Gros Ventres, 1; Peorias, 8; Pottawatomies, 
7; Kansans, 6; Kickapoos, 3;;Munsees, 1; Osages, 1. The mission at this 
time was incomplete, and hadlhouse-room for only eighty children. Work 
and study alternated, the children being employed six hours a day at work 
and six hours in school. The girls, under the direction of their teachers,^ 
did the cooking for the entire school and for about twenty mechanics and 
other hands employed about the institution. They also made not only their 
own clothes, but those of the boys and some of the mechanics and others. 
Bishop Jas. 0. Andrew once visited the school, and the Indian girls pre- 

NoTE 22. — These statistics are found in the Annual Report of the Commissioner of Indian 
Affairs, 1839, p. 433. 

Note 23.— See "Shawnee Mission Capital," in volume 8 of Historical Society's Collections,, 
p. 333. 

Note 24. — Report of the United States Commissioner of Indian Affairs, 1840. p. 147. 



Methodist' Missions^ Among the Indians in Kansas. 175 








GIRLS' BOARDING-HOUSE. 

Also home of the superintendent, matron, and teachers. For a time the home of Governor Reeder 

and other territorial officials ; erected in 1845. 

The portrait is Col. A. S. JOHNSON, first child born at the old Shawnee Mission. 



sented him with a pair of trousers, all the work of their own hands. They 
were also taught to spin and weave, while the boys were taught farming, 
carpentering, shoemaking, and brickmaking. 

Four teachers -^ were employed the first year— two to teach the children 
when in school and two to teach them when at work. A farmer was em- 
ployed to take charge of the farm and stock, and his wife to superintend 
the cooking. The principal of the institution was a practical mechanic, and 
conducted the building operations during the year. The crop report for the 
first year shows that 2000 bushels of wheat, 4000 of oats, 3500 of corn and 
500 of potatoes were raised. Upon the farm were 130 cattle, 100 hogs, and 
5 horses. Later three native buffalo were added. ^^ 

The daily routine of the pupils at the manual-labor school was as follows : 
At five A. M. they were awakened by the ringing of a bell, when in summer- 
time they performed light work about the farm until seven o'clock, when 
they breakfasted, a horn being blown by way of signal before each meal. 
In winter-time their morning work, before eating, was confined to the 
preparation of fuel, milking the cows, some thirty or forty in number, and 
feeding the stock. At nine the school-bell summoned them to their studies. 

Note 25 — John B Luce, who visited the school in 1840, and made quite a lengthy report to 
the commissioner of Indian affairs, mentions Mr. Browning, principal, and Mrs. Kinnear, as a 
teacher of the boys' school.— Id., p. 163. 

Note 26.— Report of the United States Commissioner of Indian Affairs, 1840, p. 148. 



176 Kansas State Hutorical Society. 

which were kept up, with a short interval for recess, till twelve M. They 
dined between twelve and one o'clock and then resumed their studies until 
four. Their hour for tea was six P. M. Their evenings were spent in the 
preparation of their lessons for the ensuing day until eight o'clock. They 
were then allowea to indulge themselves in indoor recreation until half-past 
eight, when they were sent to their dormitories for the night. The only 
religious services which were held during the week were the reading of a 
chapter in the Bible, followed by prayer, just before the morning and even- 
ing meals. Saturday forenoon was devoted to work and the afternoon was 
given them as a holiday. Saturday evening was spent in the bath-room in 
cleaning up for Sunday. 

The children paid seventy-five dollars a year each to the superintendent, 
as a receipt in full for board, washing, and tuition.-" The first task of the 
instructor was to teach the children English, which they soon learned to 
speak well, yet a slight foreign accent was usually noticeable. The children, 
as a general thing, were docile, teachable, and good-natured, and, when well, 
of a playful disposition, but when sick they were usually stupid and silent. 
They were not quarrelsome. As to mental capacity, they compared favora- 
bly with white children. 

At the conference of 1841 Rev. J. C. Berryman was appointed to take 
charge of the manual-labor school, to which position he was also appointed 
by the succeeding conferences. Mr. Berryman was, like his predecessor, a 
man of great energy and ability. His report for 1842 is interesting and is 
as follows : 

' ' ' From experiments already made, we are fully satisfied that there is no 
essential difference between white and red children; the difference is all in 
circumstances. 

' ' There are difficulties, however, very great difficulties, to be surmounted 
in the education of Indian youth. The ignorance and prejudice, instability 
and apathy, of the parents, and all the little whims that can be imagined as 
being indulged in by so degraded a people, combine to hinder us and retard 
their own advancement in civilization; and one of the greatest hindrances 
to the success of our efforts to impart instruction to the children we collect 
here is the difficulty of keeping them a sufficient length of time to mature 
anything we undertake to teach them; especially if they are considerably 
advanced in age when they commence. We have found that the labors 
bestowed upon those children taken in after they had reached the age of 
ten or twelve years have, in most cases, been lost; whereas, those taken in 
between the ages of six and ten, have in a majority of cases done well. 
This is chiefly owing to the older ones having foi med habits of idleness, so 
that they will not bear the confinement and discipline of school. Another 
thing in favor of receiving these children at an early age is, that they ac- 
quire our language more readily and speak it more correctly. They also 
more easily adopt our manners and habits of thinking. 

J. C. Berryman, 
Superintendent Manual Labor School." 
" We concur in this report: 
N. M. Talbot, 
E. T. Perry [Peery], 

Members of Superintending Com. 
(Report United States Commissioner of Indian Affairs, 1842, pp. 114, 115.) 

The school opened September 15, 1843, with 110 scholars. The church 

Note 27. — This charge of seventy-five dollars per annum was probably made at a later date, 
as Mr. Berryman, in his report for 1842, says: "The children are boarde'l, clothed, lodged and 
taught free of any cost to their parents, except in a single instai ce, in which the parents clothe 
the child." — Report of the United States Superintendent of Indian Affairs, 1842, p. 116. 



Methodist Missions Among the Indians in Kansas. 177 




REV. JEROME C. BERRYMAN. 

For twelve years missionary to the Indians. He died May 8, 1906, at Caledonia. Mo., in the 
ninety-seventh year of his age. For seventy-seven years a minister of the Gospel. 

statistics for this year report ten colored children as members of the mis- 
sion. The conference minutes would indicate that they lived at the manual- 
labor school. These colored children belonged to the slaves which Rev. 
Thomas Johnson had brought into the territory, and who worked on the mis- 
sion premises. -8 The increase of members in our mission this year was 210. 
In the month of October, 1844, Bishop Thomas A. Morris, in the course 
of an episcopal tour through the Southwest, visited the Shawnee manual- 
labor school. The trip from St. Louis, where he presided at the Missouri 
conference, to what is now Kansas City, was made by boat. The water in 
the Missouri river was at a low stage, so that navigation was extremely 
difficult. A safe landing was however made one mile below the mouth of 
the Kansas, on the 10th of October, between sunset and dark. The ten or 
twelve preachers who had started from St. Louis in company with the bishop 
had all left the boat at different points for their circuits, so that he found 
himself entirely alone on the border of the Indian country, without guide or 



Note 28. — In April, 1895, Col. A. S. Johnson dictated a lengthy and very interesting state- 
ment relative to his father's slaves, which is among his papers in the Historical Society's Col- 
lections. 

-12 



178 Kansas State Historical Society. 

acquaintance, with lodging to hunt amid the deepening shadows of night. 
Shouldering his baggage, he ascended a steep hill, on the summit of which 
he found a new cabin, occupied by Colonel Chick, "» who, having been washed 
out by a late freshet, '" had sought a new home above high-water mark. The 
bishop was very cordially received, and kindly entertained by the colonel 
and his family until the next morning. 

Bishop Morris then started on horseback for the manual-labor school, 
seven miles distant, where he had appointed to meet a party of missionaries, 
to proceed together through the Indian country to the Indian Mission con- 
ference to be held at Tahlequah, Cherokee nation. Bishop Morris witnessed 
part of the examination exercises at the close of the regular term. "Their 
performance," he says, "in spelling, reading, writing, geography, composi- 
tion and vocal music was such as would do credit to any of our city schools 
in the United States." 

On Monday, October 14, the bishop and his company started for the In- 
dian Mission conference. The company consisted of himself, Rev. L. B. 
Stateler, missionary to the Shawnees; Rev. Thomas Hurlburt, missionary 
among the Chippewas, and Rev. E. T. Peery, superintendent of the manual- 
labor school. They followed the old military road through the territory. 
They got a late start the first day, and after traveling about twenty-five 
miles camped for the night. Their tent was made of domestic cotton, cir- 
cular, in the style of the northern Indian habitations, supported by a center 
pole, and the base extended by cords and pegs. In this, with buffalo skins 
for beds and buggy cushions for pillows, they slept comfortably and securely. 

The next day they journeyed about thirty-eight miles, camping for the night 
on the south bank of the Marais des Cygnes in a quiet, pleasant place, where 
the only interruptions of their slumbers were the noises which arose now and 
then from a camp of Pottawatomie Indians. The next day they overtook 
the Rev. Thomas H. Ruble, missionary among the Pottawatomies, and a son 
of Chief Boashman, a young Indian who had been educated in the manual- 
labor school and had become a Christian, and was then acting as an inter- 
preter. Thus reenforced, the three carriages formed quite a respectable 
procession. Early in the afternoon they were caught in a northeastern 
rain-storm, accompanied with high winds, but they pushed on, and late in 
the evening they reached the Marmaton river, near Fort Scott, where fuel 
and water could be procured, and where they pitched their tent for the night. 
Calling at the fort next morning, they laid in a supply of horse provender, 
having been notified that this would be the last opportunity for the next 

Note 29.— William M. Chick was born in Virginia in 1794. Came to Saline county, Missouri, 
about 1822. Moved to Howard county in 1826, tiience to Westport in 1836, and to Kansas City in 
1843. He died April 7, 1847, in Kansas City. His wife, Ann Eliza Chick, was a teacher in the 
Shawnee Mission in 1851. She died in Kansas City in 1875. The children were: Mary Jane, mar- 
ried to Rev. Wm. Johnson, afterwards to Rev. John T. Peery; William S. Chick; Virginia, wife 
of John C. McCoy; Sarah Ann, Polk, Washington Henry (born in Saline county in 1826), Joseph 
S., Martha Matilda. Scarritt, Pettus W., and Leonidas. It was in the cabin of CoI.Wm. M. Chick 
that the first Methodist preaching service was held in Kansas City. This was in 1840, and the 
preacher Rev. James Porter. In 1845 this same local preacher organized the first Methodist 
class, the services being held in a log schoolhouse at the present crossing of Missouri avenue and 
Delaware street in that city. The weather being warm, the service was held in the shade of 
the forest-trees. At the conclusion of the preaching service, the preacher requested those who 
wished to join to take their seats on a log near where he stood. Five came forward and took 
their seats accordingly, viz.: Colonel Chick and wife. James Hickman, a Mrs. Smith, and Jane 
Porter. These, with the preacher, constituted the first class in Kansas City. His son, J. S. 
Chick, of Kansas City, was born in Howard county, August 3, 1828. 

Note 30,— This was the great flood year in the Kansas valley, 1844, the water exceeding in 
depth that of 1903. 



Methodist Missions Among the Indians in Kansas. 179 

fifty miles. That day the air was very chilly and traveling across the prai- 
ries anything but pleasant. When they finally reached the last skirt of 
timber, on the Dry wood fork, though early in the afternoon, it was too late 
to attempt to cross the big prairie, twenty-three miles across, and they 
halted for the night. 

The next day they set out early, in a driving snow-storm. On Saturday, 
the 19th, they passed through the Quapaw lands and the Little Shawnee 
village, and in the evening arrived at Mrs. Adams's, in the Seneca nation, 
where they were kindly received, and spent the Sabbath. The religious 
services held in the house of this excellent lady were peculiarly impressive. 
The congregation of some sixty persons contained Senecas, Stockbridges, 
Shawnees, Cherokees, Africans, Canadians, and citizens of the United 
States. Here the Rev. N. M. Talbot, missionary among the Kickapoos, 
joined the party, and all proceeded together Monday morning to confer- 
ence. 

The school report for the year 1845 shows 137 scholars in attendance. 
During this year the erection of another large brick building, 100 feet in 
length and 20 feet in width, and two stories high, was begun. It was 
located on the north side of the road, the three large buildings forming a 
triangle, but not joining each other. This building had a piazza the whole 
length, with the exception of a small room at each end taken off the piazza. 
This building served as the girls' home and boarding-school. The superin- 
tendent and his family also occupied this building. Governor Reeder and 
staff and other territorial officials were quartered here in 1855, when Shaw- 
nee Mission was the capital.-" 

In 1845 the Methodist Episcopal church was rent asunder, as the result 
of differences of opinion on the slavery question. At a convention which 
met May 1, 1845, in the city of Louisville, Ky., the Methodist Episcopal, 
Church South was organized. ^^ The Kansas missions, which at this time 
were embraced in the Indian Mission conference, fell into the Church South. 
The Indian Mission conference for the year 1845 was held at the Shawnee 
Mission, Bishop Joshua Soule presiding. Bishop Soule was one of the two 
bishops who adhered to the Church South. The other was Bishop James 0, 
Andrew, a native of Georgia. Bishop Soule was a Northern man by birth 
and rearing, having been born in Maine, August 1, 1781. He died at Nash- 
ville, March 6, 1867. 

Rev. Wm. H. Goode, one of the early missionaries among the Choctaws 
in Indian Territory, was a delegate with Rev. E. T. Peery from the Indian 
Mission conference which met at Tahlequah October 23, 1844, to the conven- 
tion held at Louisville in May, 1845, at which the M. E. Church South was 

Note 31. — A fine picture of this building, taken in 1897, is given in the Coates Memorial, 
opposite paare 114 ; see, also. Report of the United States Commissioner of Indian Affairs, 1845, 
p. 539. 

Note 32. — A very interesting account of the part taken by Missouri in the organization of 
the Southern conference may be found in a little volume in the Historical Society's library, en- 
titled "History of the Organization of the Methodist Episcopal Church South," Nashville, 1845. 
Missouri was represented in the Louisville conference by the following delegates : Andrew 
Monroe, Jesse Greene, John Glanville, Wesley Browning, William Patton. John H. Lynn, Joseph 
Boyle, Thomas Johnson. J. C. Berryman was chairman of the Indian Mission conference. The 
Historical Society has also a little pamphlet, of which a few pages are lacking, published in 1847 
or 1851, being the "Defense of Rev. Lorenzo Waugh against the M. E. Church South, of Mis- 
souri." The twenty-first and twenty-second chapters of Father Waugh's autobiography also re- 
late to the division. 



180 Kansas State Historical Society. 

organized. He has this to say in his "Outposts of Zion" concerning the 
division : 

"The influence of the large mission establishment at the manual-labor 
school was strong. There were few to counteract or explain ; and at the 
separation the main body of our Shawnee membership was carried, nolens 
volens, into the Church South. They have a large meeting-house and 
camp-ground, and exert a powerful influence over the tribe. Our member- 
ship is reduced to about twenty— a faithful band. "•'•• 

The manual-labor school was thus for the next seventeen years under the 
supervision of the Methodist Episcopal Church South. In 1845 and 1846 
Rev. William Patton was superintendent. The concluding portion of his 
report for 1846 to Hon. William Medill, commissioner of Indian affairs, is 
as follows : 

' ' Our mills and shops are doing well, affording considerable assistance to 
the Indians around in various ways. The shops furnish the more industri- 
ous and enterprising with wagons, and such like, by which they are enabled 
to make for themselves and families something to subsist upon. Of the 
mills I must speak more definitely. There has nothing been done for the 
Indians in all this section of country, in the way of improvements, which is 
of equal importance, or anything like equal importance, with the erection 
of the steam flouring- and sawmill at this place. Here, the Indians from 
several tribes around get a large quantity of their breadstuffs, such as 
fl. ur and corn-meal. But this is not the only advantage derived— the saw- 
mill furnishes them with lumber for building and furnishing their houses ; 
and, what is of still greater importance to them, the mills, and especially 
the sawmill, offer to them inducements to industry. We purchase from 
the Indians all our sawlogs, our steam wood, etc., thus giving them em- 
ployment and furnishing in return flour, meal, sugar, coffee, salt, and such 
other things, in a dry-goods line, as they or their families may need, and 
those things which, in many instances, they could not have without these 
facilities, at least to any considerable extent. 

"I have the honor to be, dear sir, your obedient servant, 

W. Patton." 
(Report 1846, p. 365.) 

In 1847 Thomas Johnson was returned as superintendent of the manual- 
labor school, which position he held till the school was discontinued. The 
school report for this year shows 125 scholars in attendance, 78 males and 
47 females. 

The crops for 1848 were a partial failure, by reason of a prolonged drought 
of two years— very Httle rain falling in that time. The springs began to 
fail, the pasture suffered greatly, and they were compelled, in the summer 
of 1848, to haul water a distance of two miles in order to keep the steam 
flour-mill running. -'^ 

This year, 1848, Mr. Johnson decided to organize a classical department 
in connection with the school. In the conference minutes it is called the 
Western Academy. Rev. Nathan Scarritt,''^ father-in-law of Bishop E. R. 

Note 33.- Outposts, p. 295. 

Note 34. — Report United States Commissioner of Indian Affairs, 1848, p. 450. 

Note. 35. — Bishop E. R. Hcndrix, Kansas City, Mo.: One of the men closely identified with 
the early history of Kansas, and especially with missionary work amonj? the Indians on the 
reservation, was Rev. Nathan Scarritt, whose name is held in grateful remembrance by the de- 
scendants of the Shawnees. Delawares, and Wyandots, as well as the early settlers of eastern 
Kansas. Doctor Scarritt was born April 14, 1821, in Edwardsville, 111., was educated at McKen- 
dree CoUeKe, Lebanon, 111., where he graduated as valedictorian of his class in 1842, and spent 
the rest of his life in teaching and as a preacher of the Gospel in Missouri and Kansas. In 1845 



Methodist Missions Among the Indians in Kansas. 181 

Hendrix, of the Methodist Episcopal Church South, whose episcopal resi- 
dence is in Kansas City, Mo., was selected to take charge of this new de- 
partment, in which he served three years. Mrs. Hendrix was born at the 
Shawnee Mission. Mr. Scarritt says, in a manuscript left by him, that the 
school was then in a flourishing condition, and that the new department which 
he was called upon to take charge of proved a decided success. He says: 

"A score or more of young gentlemen and young ladies from across the 
line, and some, indeed, from more distant parts of Missouri, were admitted 
into this department. This brought the whites and Indians into close com- 
petition in the race for knowledge, and I must say that those Indian scholars 
whose previous knowledge had been equal to their competitors were not a 
whit behind them in contest for the laurels of scholarship." '■^'^ 

Doctor Scarritt attributed the success of the school chiefly to the wise, 
judicious and able management of the superintendent, Rev. Thomas Johnson. 
Doctor Scarritt spent a considerable part of his time in preaching among the 
different tribes, through interpreters. He became so interested in mission- 
he removed to Fayette, Mo., where he joined with Prof. Wm. T. Lucky in estabHshing a high 
school, out of which has grown Central College and Howard Female College. In 1846 he was 
licensed to preach, and joined the Missouri conference, but for two years his appointment was to 
Howard high schooL After some four years at Fayette, Mo., in Howard high school, he was 
called to take charge of the high school or academic department of the Shawnee manual-labor 
school, under the general superintendence of Rev. Thomas Johnson, an early missionary to the 
Shawnees, as his brother. Rev. Wm. Johnson, was to the Kaws. AH the tribal schools were 
merged into this institution, which was located some two miles from Westport. Here are still 
found the substantial buildings erected some sixty-five years ago for school and chapel purposes 
and for the homes of the missionaries. While instruction was given in brickmaking, carpenter- 
ing, wagon-making, farming, and the girls taught all kinds of domestic pursuits, much attention 
was given to work of a high-school grade. Here the Indian youth came in contact with the 
children of the pioneer whites and were taught in the same classes. At least one United States 
senator received instruction in those early days from the lips of Doctor Scarritt. He was mar- 
ried April 29, 1850, to Miss Martha Matilda Chick, daughter of Col. Wm. M. Chick. She was the 
mother of nine children, six of whom are still living. She died July 29, 1873. 

In the fall of 1851 he was appointed missionary to the Shawnee, Delaware and Wyandot In- 
dians, and, later in the year, was stationed at Lexington, Mo. In 1852 he was appointed to 
Kansas City and Westport. In 1854-'55 he was principal of the Westport high school. Then he 
was transferred to the Kansas Mission conference, and appointed presiding elder of the Kicka- 
poo district. He was soon afterward elected president pro tern, of Central College. In 1858-'59 
he was appointed to the Shawnee reserve, and for the next two years presiding elder of the 
Lecompton district. In October, 1874, he was married to Mrs. Ruth E. Scarritt, the widow of his 
brother Isaac. He was a member of several general conferences. His death occurred in 1890. 
The sketch of Thomas Johnson in Andreas's History of Kansas was written by Doctor Scarritt. 

While engaged in teaching. Doctor Scarritt found great joy in preaching to the Indians, and 
soon had regular appointments among them. Doctor Scarritt gave all together some seven years 
to work among the Indians and whites in eastern Kansas. Speaking of the Indians, he says: "The 
effects of divine grace upon the minds and hearts of these uncultured heathen were tome a mar- 
vel." While his work was not continuous, as would have been his preference, being called twice 
to other work in Missouri, where he had begun his ministry, and where he was always held in great 
esteem as a preacher and an educator, yet his years given to Kansas form an important chapter in 
its early histoi-y. Apioneerin spirit, hedelighted tobuild on nootherman'sfoundation. Speaking 
of those seven years, he says : "I traveled wherever settlements were planted, preaching to the 
people, visiting pastorally, and organizing churches. The Indian tribes still occupied the reser- 
vations, and all the white settlements were in their most primitive and inchoate state. This con- 
dition of society, together with the extent of country over which I had to travel, and the total 
want of roads, bridges, etc., between settlements, rendered my labors during those years of the 
most arduous character. My exposures were often severe and, sometimes, hazardous. Some- 
times I would have to swim swollen streams, lie out all night upon the ground, even in cold and 
stormy weather, with nothing but my saddle-blanket for my bed, and go fasting for twenty-four 
to thirty hours at a time. But though my travels were often hard and hazardous, yet I greatly 
enjoyed myself in them, for by nature I was always fond of life amid such scenes. The welcome 
hospitalities I received in the cabin of the frontier settler, and even in the Indian's wigwam, how- 
ever rude and meager may have been the accommodations, were always enjoyed by me with a 
genuine heart zest." 

Doctor Scarritt was closely identified with Kansas from 1848 to 1861, with the exception of 
two or three years, when he yielded to the call of his church for special service in Missouri. Much 
of his life was spent in what is now embraced in the corporate limits of Kansas City, where he 
founded " The Scarritt Bible and Training School for Missionaries." His noble wife, a daughter 
of Col. Wm. M. Chick, cordially seconded him in all his labors. Her sister was Mrs. William 
Johnson, who was in deep sympathy with her husband in his missionary work among the Kaws. 
and she often served as an interpreter, because of her acquaintance with their language. A 
memorial window in White Church, Wyandotte county, Kansas, perpetuates the names of some 
of these pioneer missionaries, but their true record is kept on high. 

Note 36.— Cutler's History of Kansas, 1883, p. 300. 



182 



Kansas State Historical Society. 




REV. NATHAN SCARRITT, D. D., 
Principal of classical department in the manual-labor school, and missionary. 



ary work among the Indians that at the end of his three years' professorship 
he entered that work exclusively. This was in the fall of 1851, when he -was 
appointed to take charge of three missions — the Shawnee, the Delaware, and 
the Wyandot, with Rev. Daniel D. Doffelmeyer and several native helpers 
as assistants. He says that the Indian converts were as a rule consistent 
in their Christian conduct, and that they would compare favorably in this 
particular with the whites. He says: "The older Christians among them 
especially would manifest in [their public exercises, their exhortations and 
prayers a degree of earnestness, pathos and importunity that I have seldom 
witnessed elsewhere." Of the interpreters he says: "Charles Bluejacket 
was our interpreter among the Shawnees, Silas Armstrong among the Wyan- 
dots, and James Ketchum among the Delawares. They were all remark- 
able men, all intelligent, all truly and deeply pious, yet each was unique in 
some prominent characteristic." 

Charles Bluejacket was born in Michigan, on the river Huron, in 1816, 
and came with his tribe to Kansas when a boy. His grandfather, Weh-yah- 
pih-ehr-sehn-wah, or Bluejacket, was a famous war-chief, and was in the 
battle in which General Harmar was defeated, in 1790. In the battle in 
which Gen. Anthony Wayne defeated the northwest confederacy of Indians, 



Methodist Missions Among the Indians in Kansas. 183 




REV. CHARLES BLUEJACKET, 
Shawnee chief and interpreter. 



in 1794, Captain Bluejacket commanded the allied forces. According to 
Charles Bluejacket, his grandfather, had been opposed to the war, which had 
for some time been waged against the whites, but was overruled by the 
other war-chief. After the defeat, which rendered the cause of the Indians 
hopeless. Captain Bluejacket was the only chief who had courage to go to 
the camp of General Wayne and sue for peace. The battle was fought in 
1794, and a permanent peace was made in 1795. Charles Bluejacket's an- 
cestors were war-chiefs, but never village or civil chiefs until after the 
removal of the tribe to the West. His father was probably the first civil 
chief of his family. When Charles was a child his parents moved to the 
Piqua Plains, Ohio. In 1832 they removed to their reservation near Kansas 
City, Kan. He was then'a youth of sixteen years. 

Charles inherited all the noble traits of character of his grandfather. 
He was licensed to preach in 1859, and continued till the time of his death. 
Rev. Joab Spencer, in a sketch of this famous Indian, says: "In 1858, when 
I made his acquaintance, he was forty-two years old, and as noble a speci- 
men of manhood as I ever saw. I lived in his family for two months, and 
saw him^at close range. An intimate acquaintance of two years showed 



184 Kmisas State Historical Society. 

him in all walks of life to be a Christian gentleman of high order. In look- 
ing back over all these years, I can think of no one who, taken all in all, 
had more elements of true dignity and nobleness of character. He was my 
interpreter, and I never preached through a better. A favorite hymn of 
Bluejacket's, and the one which was largely instrumental in his conversion, 
was the familiar hym of Isaac Watts: 

"Alas ! and did my Saviour bleed, 
And did my Sovereign die, 
Would He devote that sacred head 
For such a worm as I." 

Following is the verse in the Shawnee language: 

"Na-peache mi ce ta ha 
Che na mo si ti we 
Ma ci ke na mis wa la ti 
Mi ti na ta pi ni. " 

No history of the Shawnee Mission would be complete that omitted the names 
of Bluejacket, Paschal Fish, Tooly, Black Hoof, Pumpkin, Silverheels, and 
Capt. Joseph Parks. All the above were half, and in some cases more 
than half, white blood. ' ' 

Bluejacket died October 29, 1897, at the town of Bluejacket, Indian Ter- 
ritory, whither he moved in 1871, from the effects of a cold contracted the 
preceding month, while searching for the Shawnee prophet's grave, in Wyan- 
dotte county, Kansas. He was married three times, and twenty-three chil- 
dren were born to him. Mr. Spencer officiated at the wedding of one of his 
daughters, who married J. Gore. 

Rev. Joab Spencer, '' a missionary among the Shawnees from 1858 to 
1860, gives some interesting features of the work, and says in regard to the 
results of our missionary labors among the Kansas tribes: 

' ' Methodism did not accomplish much for any of the tribes except the 
Shawnees, Delawares, and Wyandots. A good beginning was made among 
the Kickapoos, but for some reason the work did not prosper, though when 
we abandoned them there was a band of about twenty- five faithful mem- 
bers. The Indians made a treaty in 1854, taking part of their land in sever- 
alty and selling the balance to the government. Each Indian received 200 

Note 37.- Rev. Joab Spencer was born in Delaware county, Indiana, March 10, 1831. His 
great-grandfather, Ithamar Spencer, was a native of Connecticut. He was a captain in the war 
of the revolution, and with his oldest son. Amos, spent the entire seven years in that struggle. 
Joab Spencer's father and grandfather were natives of New York. In 1842 his father moved to 
Andrew county, Missouri, included in the Platte purchase, and just opened to white settlers. 
School advantages were limited, and Mr. Spencer did not attend school to exceed three years. At 
the age of thirteen he united with the Methodist church. He was licensed to preach in the 
spring of 1855, and in the fall of the same year admitted on trial in the Missouri conference of 
the Methodist Episcopal Church South. After spending three years in the work in Missouri he 
was appointed to the Shawnee Indian mission, in 1858, serving two years. August 20, 1860, Mr. 
Spencer was married to Miss Mary C. Munkres, a niece of T. S. Huffaker. Their family consists 
of five daughters, two of whom are graduates of the Missouri State Normal and one of the Ohio 
Wesleyan University. The only son died at the age of twenty-si.x. The son was part owner 
of the daily and weekly Mail, at Nevada, Mo. In the fall of 1860 he was appointed to the Paola, 
Kan., circuit, and in 1861 presiding elder of the Council Grove district, but did not go on to the 
district till the spring of 1862, but was prevented by war troubles from doing any work ; so he 
opened a high school at Council Grove. He remained at or near Council Grove for twelve years, 
teaching, farming, and merchandising. In 1864 he was elected to the state legislature from 
Morris county. In 1874 he was transferred to the Missouri conference, and served the following 
charges: California. Otterville, Clifton, Cambridge, Independence, and Warrensburg, the latter 
for more than six years continuously. Mr. Spencer has been active in Sunday-school work, and 
is the author of a work, "Normal Guide No. 1," and for a number of years edited the home 
Sunday-school course in the St. Louis Christian Advocate. He is now living at Slater, Mo., the 
surviving missionary among the Indians in Kansas, and has recently published in the St. Louis 
Christian Advocate a history of the " Kansas Mission Conference," of great interest in connec- 
t/on with this subject. 



Methodist MissioTis Amo^ig the Indians in Kansas. 185 




REV. JOAB SPENCER, 

At this date (May 15, 1906), the only surviving missionary to the Shawnee Indians, living at 

Slater, Mo., in his seventy-sixth year. 

acres, I think, and $110 cash a year for a number of years— ten, I think. ^s 
This gave the Indians a large sum, and was the means of bringing among 
them a large number of base men, who sold them mean whisky, and robbed 
them in many ways. When I was appointed to the mission, in 1858, I found 
a bad state of things as a result. Many of the members had lapsed, and the 
presence of the white people in the congregation kept many away from the 
church service. Then the example of the whites, including some church mem- 
bers, had a very bad influence on the Indians; besides, the mother church 
had evidently lost much interest in the work, as the results had been disap- 
pointing. I held two camp-meetings during my two years, at which a num- 
ber were converted, but very little was accomplished in the way of building 
up. At this time, 1858-'60, all features of manual training had ceased. 
There were twenty or thirty children— all, or nearly all, Shawnees — in the 

Note 38.— For the exact terms of these treaties, see Indian Affairs, Laws, and Treaties, vol. 
2, p. 618, Washington, 1904. 



186 Kansas State Historical Society. 

school, tauprht by a young lady, another young lady being matron. But our 
work as a church was done. How much of it abides, we cannot know. Few 
of the Indians, especially women, could converse in English. In my pastoral 
work I carried an Indian hymn-book containing many of the old favorites, 
which I learned to sing in their language. After spending a short time in 
the family, I would select and sing a hymn in which all would join; then, 
after prayer and hand-shaking, would leave. In this way I have witnessed 
many pleasant and touching scenes. Many of the members were excellent 
and stable Christians." 

One very important official connected with the missions was the interpre- 
ter, as the preaching was mostly done through this medium. Rev, G. W. 
Love, M. D., who was a missionary for nearly three years among the Peoria, 
Pottawatomie and Kaw Indians, has left some brief reminiscences, which 
are interesting. Doctor Love emigrated to western Missouri from Ten- 
nessee in 1836, and died in Westport, Mo., October 20, 1903, at the age of 
eighty- seven. In his reminiscences he says: 

' ' I have preached through Capt. Joseph Parks, who was in command of 
a company of Shawnee Indians who fought for the government against the 
Seminoles in the Florida war. Afterwards he was the principal chief of the 
Shawnee nation. I also preached through Henry Tiblow, who received his 
education at the Shawnee Mission school. He was employed by the govern- 
ment as interpreter for the Shawnees and Delawares. I also preached 
through Bashman [Mackinaw Beauchemie],-'^ while I was with the Potta- 
watomies." 

Capt. Joseph Parks was a half-breed, and a prominent character among 
the Shawnees. His wife was a Wyandot. He owned slaves, and had a well- 
improved farm, with an elegant, well-furnished brick house, and in the 
treaty was well provided for by the grant of lands immediately upon the 
Missouri state line. Captain Parks lived for many years, when young, in 
the home of Gen. Lewis Cass. After the Shawnees came to Kansas he went 
to Washington, where he spent many years as agent of his tribe, in order to 
recover the money taken from them as stated on page 78 of volume 8, Kan- 
sas Historical Collections. Parks told Rev. Joab Spencer that it was through 
General Cass that he secured the money, because he had lived in the Cass 
family and the good reputation he sustained. He was, for many years, 
leader and head chief of his nation. He died April 4, 1859, and was buried 
from the old log meeting-house." 

Another prominent man of this tribe was Rev. Paschal Fish. He was a 
local preacher, and his brother, Charles Fish, acted as interpreter. For a few 
years after the division Paschal Fish served appointments in the Shawnee and 
Kickapoo missions under the Church South — then returned to the old church, 
remaining firm in his allegiance in spite of persecution. While fairly well 
educated, it appears that he was unable to write his name, as I have seen a 
document signed as follows: "Paschal Fish, his X mark." 

Another interpreter connected with Shawnee Mission was Matthias Split- 

NOTE 39.— Is this the "Bossman" whose name is attached to the Pottawatomie treaty of 
1846 at "Pottawatomie creek, near Osage river, June 17, 1846"?— Indian AfTairs, Laws, and 
Treaties, vol. 2, p. 560. 

Note 40.— " Monday, 4th April. 1859. Capt. Parks died about 6 o'clock last night. He was 
tho't to be about 66 years old. He has been for several years head chief of the Shawnees, but 
General Cass, who employed him as interpreter when in the Indian service, stated in a speech 
in the U. S. senate, in 1853, while a Shawnee claim was under discussion, that Parks, then in 
Washington, was a pure white man and had been captured by the Indians when very young. 
But among the Shawnees he claimed to be of Shawnee extraction, and the claim was universally 
acknowledged."— Extract from the journal of Abelard Guthrie, in Connelley's Provisional Gov- 
ernment, p. 120. 



Methodist Missions Among the Indians in Kansas. 187 



log. He was a Cayuga-Seneca by descent, having been born in Canada in 
1816. He married Eliza Carloe, a Wyandot, and came west with the Wyan- 
dot nation. He made his home in the Seneca country when the Wyandots 
moved to the Indian Territory. Here he erected a fine church building. He 
died there in 1896. An interesting sketch of his life is found in Connelley's 
Provisional Government, p. 34. 

During the year 1851 the Shawnee manual-labor school still continued to 
prosper. It suffered some little embarrassment from 1849 to 1851 by reason 
of the prevalence of cholera in the community. The subjoined statement is 
interesting in giving the name, age, the tribe to which each pupil belonged, 
the date of entrance, and the studies pursued. The roll contains many 
very picturesque names. 

SHAWNEE INDIAN MANUAL-LABOR SCHOOL. 

Statement No. 1, showing the condition of Fort Leavenworth Indian 
manual-labor school for the current year, ending September 30, 1851: 

Male Department. 
Teachers— A. Coneatzer, T. Huffaker, W. Luke, S. Huffaker. 



Names. 



Age. 



Tribe. 



Entered. 



Levi Flint 17 

Robert Armstrong 14 

Henry Garrett 16 

Lagarus Flint 15 

Mebzy Dougherty 15 

John Paschal 16 

John Mann 14 

Thaxter Reed 13 

Alpheus Herr 15 

William Fish 14 

John Anderson 15 

Robert W. Robetalle.. 11 

Jacob Flint 10 

Stephen Bluejacket. ... 13 

Moses Pooler 12 

Francis Pooler 11 

Solomon Peck 12 

Robert Merrill 12 

Ephraim Rob bins 11 

James Hicks 15 

William Barnet 15 

Jacob Whitecrow 15 

Peter Anderson 12 

Peter Mann 13 

Peter Sharlow 13 

Robert Bluejacket 12 

Thomas Bluejacket 10 

Cassius Barnet 14 

Samuel Flint 12 

Lewis Hays 17 

William Flint 15 

George Sharlow 15 

Anson Carryhoo 15 

Thomas Huffaker 10 

Eldridge Brown 7 

John Solomon, 1st 17 



Shawnee Nov. , 

Wyandot Sept. , 



Shawnee Aug., 

" Nov., 

Peoria Jan., 

Pottawatomie. . ' ' 

Ottawa Mar., 

Sept., 

Shawnee May, 

Pottawatomie.. Sept., 

Wyandot Nov. , 

Shawnee July, 

" June, 

Ottawa Mar. , 



Wyandot April, 

Shawnee " 

Wyandot Mar. , 

Pottawatomie.. Oct., 

.. Jan., 

Wyandot Mar. , 

Shawnee Sept. , 

" June, 

Mar., 

May, 

July, 

" April, 

Wyandot " 



842 
850 
850 

842 
848 
841 
841 
849 
849 
849 
848 
849 

848 
847 
849 
849 
849 
849 
849 
851 
851 
851 
848 
848 
851 

849 
847 
849 
851 
850 
851 
851 
851 
851 
851 
851 



studies. 
Latin, English, 
grammar, geogra- 
phy, arithmetic, 
philosophy, pen- 
manship, declama- 
tion, etc. 



Grammar, arithme- 
tic, geography, 
reading, writing, 
spelling, declama- 
tion, etc. 



Arithmetic, reading, 
spelling, writing, 
and declamation. 



. From the alphabet 
^ to reading, spell- 
' ing, and writing. 



188 



Kansas State Historical Society. 



George Big River 12 

Henry Lagotrie 11 

John Solomon, 2d 6 

Francis Whitedeer 9 

James Baltrice 13 

William Deskin 8 

Robert Sergket 16 

Nathan Scarritt 12 

Edward Scarritt 10 

John Charles 16 

John Coon 16 

Charles Barnet 9 

Joe Richardson 7 

George Williams 16 

Isaac Frost 20 

Albert Solomon 11 

George Luke 12 



Wyandot Oct., 

Pottawatomie. . April, 

Wyandot " 

Shawnee June, 

Sept., 

" June, 



" Mar., 

Wyandot Oct. , 



Shawnee Feb., 

Ottawa Oct. , 

Wyandot " 

" Jan., 

Mar., 

Delaware Oct. , 



1850 
1860 
1860 
1850 
1848 
1850 
1850 

1 o^Q From the alphabet 
lo4y I ^g reading, spell- 
1850 r ing, and writing. 

1850 
1850 
1850 
1850 
1851 
1851 
1850 



Female Department. 

Teachers— Mrs. M. J. Peery and Mrs. A. E. Chick (the wife of 
Col. Wm. M. Chick). 



Names. 


Age. 


Tribe. 


Entered. 


Studies. 


Stella A. Harvey 


12 


Omaha 


. Sept., 


1846 > 




Sally Bluejacket, 1st . 


IL 


Shawnee 


. Feb., 


1849 




Mary A. Anderson . . . 


11 


Pottawatomie. 


. Oct., 


1848 




Elizabeth Johnson 


15 


Shawnee 


May, 


1847 




Emily Bluejacket 


12 


" 


. June, 


1844 


Grammar, arith- 


Sophia Green 

Susan Bluejacket 


11 
10 


Ottawa 

Shawnee 


. Oct., 
. Mar., 


1847 
1849 


L metic, geography 
reading, writing, 
and needlework. 


Hannah Wells 


13 


" 


Dec, 


1847 




Rosalie Robetaille 


10 


Wyandot 


. Jan., 


1851 




Margaret Peery 


13 


Delaware 


• Aug., 


1844 




Sarah Driver 


15 


Wyandot 


. Feb., 


1851 . 




Sally Bluejacket, 2d . . 


8 


Shawnee 


. Mar., 


1849 > 




Caty P. Scarritt 


8 


< i 


Oct., 


1848 




Catharine Donaldson . . 


10 


< < 


(( 


1848 




Rebecca Donaldson 


7 


" 


" 


1848 




Nancy Green 


11 


Ottawa 


»* 


1849 


Arithmetic, geog- 


Susan Wolfe 


n 


" 


. April, 


1849 


, raphy, reading, 
writing, and 
needlework. 


Elizabeth Robbins . . . 


10 


" 




1849 


Louisa Shigget 


15 


Delaware 


. July, 


1850 




Sarah Sarahas 


13 


Wyandot 


. Sept., 


1850 




Elizabeth Robetaille... 


7 


" 


" 


1850 




Mary A. Wolfe 


16 


Ottawa 


April, 


1851 J 




Ellen Miller 


7 
6 


<< 


July, 


1850 1 
1850 




Eleanor Richardson . . . 




Sarah Armstrong 


12 


Wyandot 


" 


1850 




Eliza Armstrong 


10 


'• 


" 


1850 




Mary Armstrong 


8 


" 


" 


1850 




Mary Solomon 


8 


" 


Sept., 


1850 




Susan Buck 


10 


" 


Feb., 


1851 




Frances Williams 


14 


" 


Sept., 


1850 


From the alphabet 
. to reading, spell- 
ing, and needle- 
work. 


Sarah Sharlow 

Philomene Lagottrie . . 


6 
9 


<< 
Mohawk 


Mar., 


1851 
1851 


Rosalie Lagottrie 


6 


" 


" 


1851 




Susan Driver 


14 


Wyandot 


April, 


1851 




Ella Dougherty 


8 


Shawnee 


Oct., 


1849 




Mary Hill 


9 


Wyandot 


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Sarah Hill 


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Emma Williams 




Mary Williams 


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Methodist Missions Among the Indians in Kansas. 189 

Sally Bluejacket, 3d... 6 Shawnee Sept., 1850 

Mary L. Scarritt 6 " May, 1849 

Anna Scarritt 4 " Sept. , 1850 From the alphabet 

Nancy Barnet 6 " May, 1849 L to reading, spell- 
Mary J. Owens 10 " Sept., 1850 [ ing. and needle- 

Caty Whitedeer 7 " July, 1850 | 

Mary E. Ward 7 Peoria Sept., 1849 I 

Susan Miller 13 Ottawa April, 1849 J 

Total number in the female department 47 

Total number in the male department 53 

Total number in both departments 100 

(Report Unites States Commissioner of Indian Affairs, 1851, pp. 87, 88.) 

The report for the year 1854 shows that 105 children were in attendance, 
divided among the tribes as follows: Shawnee, 49; Delaware, 19; Wyandot, 
14; Ottawa, 23, but none from the Kickapoo, Kaw, Pottawatomie or Peoria 
tribes. *i The treaty was made this year, and the manual feature closed. 
The shops were disposed of and disappeared. In 1858 a brick one was still 
standing, and used as a stable. The report of 1855 shows that but two tribes 
besides the Shawnees sent children to the school, the Ottawas 22, and the 
Wyandots 10. Two Spanish boys, rescued from the Cheyennes by General 
Whitfield,^- were in attendance; also one small Sioux boy— 122 in all. The 
report indicates progress, and notices a disposition among the Shawnees to 
improve and fit themselves to live among the white people. " 

Thomas Johnson's last report as superintendent of the institution is headed 
"Shawnee manual-labor school, Kansas, September 6, 1862," and is ad- 
dressed to Maj. James B. Abbott, Indian agent. It contains the following 
information: During the past year, closing with the present month, fifty- 
two Shawnee children were in attendance— twenty-six males and twenty-six 
females— ages from seven to sixteen; taught ordinary English branches; 
health unusually good. The parents and guardians manifest interest in the 
children. The average attendance has been thirty. Among the names are 
those of Wm. M. Whiteday, John Bigbone, Hiram Blackfish, Martha Prophet, 
Wm. Prophet, and Emma Chick (Emma Chick Moon, daughter of Wm. 
Chick, of Glenwood, Kan.) Major Abbott gives the following account of 
his visit to the school: 

' ' I found the children tidy, well clothed, and apparently well fed. Their 
head teacher, Mr. Meek, appeared to possess their confidence and affection. 
They appeared happy and contented, take a deep interest in their studies, 
and will compare favorably with white scholars. This school is sustained 
entirely out of the Shawnee school fund." " 

The school was abandoned soon after, perhaps the following year. Ma- 
jor Abbott, in his report for 1864, says : 

"There are no regular missionaries in this agency, but there is preaching 
almost every Sabbath from the Methodist denomination. There are also 
three or four Shawnees who preach occasionally to their brethren in their 
own language." 

Note 41. — Report United States Commissioner of Indian Affairs, 1854, p. 316. 
Note 42.— Gen. John W. Whitfield was in charge of the Upper Platte agency in 1855. 
Note 43. — Report United States Commissioner of Indian Affairs, 1855, p. 413. 
Note 44.— Id., 1862, pp. Ill, 113. 



190 Kansas State Historical Society. 

J!*^ Thus came to"a close the most prominent Indian mission established by 
the Methodist church in the territory of Kansas. The mission had a dura- 
tion of about thirty-three years, a school being maintained during that period, 
and the manual-training school for a period of fifteen 'years. The Indian 
school at Lawrence, the magnificent Haskell Institute, which'I have had the 
pleasure of visiting, is in its system of work and its various departments of 
manual training, very similar to the manual-labor school established by 
Thomas Johnson at Shawnee Mission nearly half a century before. 

This manual-labor school is said to have been the initiation of the effort 
to teach industrial pursuits to Indian children, which, being followed by other 
societies and by the government of the United States, to-day constitutes so 
prominent a feature in the work of Indian civilization. Finley with the 
Wyandots and McCoy with the Pottawatomies had used similar methods of 
instruction. 

It has been said that, when the Church South abandoned Shawnee Mis- 
sion, although the government had granted the land to the church, the title 
had been made out in Rev. Thomas Johnson's name, so that he possessed 
himself of all the mission grounds and divided it among his children before 
his death. 

Rev. Joab Spencer, who was a very close friend of Mr. Johnson, makes 
the following explanation: 

"In the treaty of 1854, the Shawnee Indians gave one section of their 
land to Thomas Johnson, and two sections and $10,000 in ten annual pay- 
ments to the church, for the education, board and clothing of a certain number 
of children for the term of ten years. For prudential reasons the treaty " 
shows that all three sections were granted to the church, but with the under- 
standing that the church was to deed one section to Mr. Johnson. After 
the treaty, Mr. Johnson proposed to the mission board to do the work 
named in the treaty for one section of the church's land and $1000 a year, 
thus leaving one section to the church clear of all trouble and expense. He 
carried out the contract with the church and government for five or six 
years, and then the war closed the school, though A. S. Johnson continued 
to live there. 

" When I went there, in 1858, there were about twenty-five or thirty chil- 
dren in the school. A. S. Johnson^^ -^as in charge of the farm and school. 
Miss Mary Hume was teacher and Miss Anna Shores matron. 

' ' The war came, and the government decided to confiscate the whole tract- 
all three sections. The Johnsons were at a heavy expense defending. They 
were loyal, and, on establishing valuable and acquired interest, through the 
influence of Senator James H. Lane, they succeeded in having all three sec- 
tions patented to them. To save the church's interest, Mr. Johnson secured 
patents to all and settled with the church for its interest, paying, I think, 
$7500." 

It remains only to tell of the old mission as it stands to-day. The old 

Note 45.— Col. Alexander Soule Johnson was born at the old Shawnee Mission, in 
Wyandotte county. Kansas, July 11, 1832. When twenty years of age he was married to Miss 
Prudence C. Funk, of St. Joseph, Mo. Two boys and two grirls were loorn of the marriage, all of 
whom are dead except Mrs. Charles E. Fargo, of Dallas, Tex. Colonel Johnson made his home 
in Johnson county till 1870, when he moved to Topeka. His first wife died in 1874, and in 1877 
he married Miss Zippie A. Scott, of Manchester, N. H. Colonel John.son was a member of the 
lower house of the first territorial legislature, when his father was president of the council. 
Colonel Johnson was the youngest member, being but twenty-three years old. 

Alexander S. Johnson was commissioned lieutenant-colonel of the Thirteenth infantry, Kan- 
sas state militia, October 13, 18G3, and served in the Price raid, in October, 1864. He organized 
company D, Thirteenth Kansas state militia, at Eastport, Johnson county, September 19, 1863, 
of which he was captain. — See Adjutant-general's Report, 1864, 1st pt., pp. 103, 104. 

In 1866-'67 Colonel Johnson served in the state legislature as a member from Johnson county. 
In 1867 he was appointed land commissioner of the Fort Scott & Gulf road. He remained in that 
position till the spring of 1870. He entered the land department of the Santa Fe road in 1874. 
In 1890 he resigned this position and retired from active business. Colonel Johnson died at Dallas,^ 
Tex., December 9, 1904. His remains were brought to Topeka. 



Methodist Missions Among the Indians in Kansas. 191 

building with the white posts, on the north side of the road, has been entirely 
remodeled inside, but the outward appearance of the place remains the 
same. In front of it is one of the most picturesque, old-fashioned yards to 
be found in the state. The trees, the shrubbery and the shape of the yard 
are all old-fashioned. Up from the gate to the wide porch that runs along 
the entire south side of the building is a walk made of stone slabs. It is 
uneven still, though the thousands of feet that have trod its stones have 
worn down the sharp points. Many moccasined feet, and many feet shod 
with boots and shoes, and some unshod, have passed over it in the sixty- 
seven years of its existence. The two large buildings on the south side are 
still standing. The plaster has fallen in spots from the ceilings and walls, 
disclosing the laths beneath. These laths were all hewn with hatchets and 
knives from the saplings of the forests. They were about twice the thick- 
ness of the modern lath, and far more substantial. The old spring is still 
there, and flows with undiminished volume to this day. Fragments of the 
iron pipe which conveyed the water from this spring yet remain. 

The mission cemetery is a place of interest. It stands on the top of the 
hill, a quarter of a mile southeast of the mission buildings. The place may 
be found by the clump of evergreens and other trees that mark it. It is 
enclosed by a stone wall which Joseph Wornal and Alex. S. Johnson put 
up some years ago. To this place the body of Rev. Thomas Johnson was 
brought for burial, after his foul assassination by bushwhackers in 1865. 
His wife and a brother and seven of his children and some of his grand- 
children are buried here. Outside the wall were other graves, some marked 
and some unmarked. Many of the stone and marble slabs have toppled 
over and are being buried underneath the soil. Among the graves outside 
the wall is that of Mrs. J. C. Berryman. 

Among the graves, that of Rev. Thomas Johnson is the most conspicu- 
ous. It is marked by a marble shaft which was put up by his family shortly 
after the war, and which bears this inscription : 

"Rev. Thomas Johnson, 

The Devoted Indian Missionary. 

Born July 11, 1802. 

Died Jan. 2, 1865. 

He built his own monument, which shall stand in peerless beauty long 

after this marble has crumbled into dust— 

A Monument of Good Works." 

THE SHAWNEE MISSION REORGANIZED BY METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH. 

At the time of the division of the church, in 1845, as already stated, all 
its Indian missions were carried into the Methodist Episcopal Church South, 
notwithstanding the fact that Kansas was not slave territory, and that the 
Indians had little to do with slavery. The location of the missions were 
mostly contiguous to pro-slavery communities, thus making it difficult for 
the Methodist Episcopal church to exert much influence. It, therefore, sus- 
pended its operations in Kansas from 1845 to 1848. A convention was called 
at Spring river, December 25, 1845, Anthony Bewley, chairman, to decide 
what could be done for the few who remained in Missouri faithful to the 
Methodist Episcopal church. After the organization of the Missouri con- 
ference of the Methodist Episcopal church, in 1848, an effort was made to 
reestablish our work among the Shawnees. The veteran pioneer, Rev. 



192 Kansas State Historical Society. 

Abraham Still, ^" although a Southerner by birth and rearing, remained true 
to the church, and was appointed to the charge. A site was selected upon 
the Wakarusa,^' near the mouth of that stream which gives name to the first 
war in Kansas history. Some progress was made in preparing a farm, and 
cheap buildings were erected and a small school opened. The appointments 
for 1849 read: "Platte Mission district, Abraham Still, presiding elder: 
Indian mission, Thomas B. Markham and Paschal Fish." In 1851 Henry 
Reeder and Paschal Fish were appointed. In 1857 the work of our three 
Indian missions — Wyandot, Delaware, and Shawnee— seems to have been 
combined and four preachers appointed to serve them, viz., Abraham Still, 
M. T. Klepper, Paschal Fish, and Charles Ketchum. In 1853 ^'^ the appoint- 
ments were the same, except that J. M. Chivington took the place of M. T. 
Klepper. 

In 1854 Kansas became a territory, and Rev. W. H. Goode was appointed 
to the Kansas and Nebraska district and Shawnee Mission. In "Outposts 
•of Zion, " p. 279, he says: 

"It was accordingly arranged that I should, in addition to the general 
charge [of the work among the white settlers], be appointed to the Shawnee 
mission, thus giving me the occupancy of the mission farm and buildings 
upon Wakarusa, already described, with a young man as my colleague who 
should make his home with me and perform the principal labors of the mis- 
sion. ' ' 

The young man sent was Rev. James S. Griffing," whose son, Wm. J. 
Griffing, still lives at Manhattan, where I became acquainted with him some 
years ago, and who is an honored member of the Historical Society. 

It was in October, 1854, that Mr. Goode received this appointment, which 
proved to be a disappointment. Mr. Goode continues (on page 286) : 

"Here (at Hannibal, Mo., the seat of the conference) a disappointment 
met me, rarely equaled in my life. The understanding already had for our 
occupancy of the mission premises among the Shawnees has been stated. 
Toward that point I was tending. On reaching Hannibal I learned that the 
title of the farm and improvements had been transferred to an Indian, who 
wished to lay his large claim or head-right, under the late treaty, so as to 
embrace these premises. It had been sold and his notes taken; possession 
to be given in the spring. Here I was brought to a stand, on my way with 
a large family to the frontier— winter just at hand, and no shelter in view." 

Mr. Goode applied to the Wyandots for a home among them, visited the 
council-house, obtained a hearing, and the chiefs, after a brief consultation. 

Note 46. — Abraham Still was born in Tennessee in 1792, entering- the Holston conference 
in 1819. He moved to Missouri in 1837, and entered the Missouri conference. He died December 
13, 1869, at Centropolis, Kan. — Goode's Outposts of Zion, p. 253; Autobiography of A. T. Still. 

Note 47. — The site was on section 8, town 13, range 21, in the northeastern part of Douglas 
county. — Oscar J. Richards, of Eudora. 

Note 48. — Dr. Andrew T. Still says that in May, 1853, he and his wife, Mary M. Vaughn, to 
whom he was married January 29, 1849, by Lorenzo Waugh. moved to the Wakarusa mission, six 
miles east of Lawrence. Here his wife taught the Shawnee children, while he attended to the 
mission farm, breaking ninety acres of land before August. He also assisted his father. Rev. 
Abraham Still, in doctoring the Indians, some of whom had the cholera. Mrs. Still died Septem- 
ber 29, 1859.— Autobiography of A. T. Still, Kirksville, Mo., 1897, p., 60. 

Note 49. — A biographical sketch of Mr. Griffing will be found in Kansas Historical Society 
Collections, vol. 8, p. 134. Mrs. J. Augusta Griffing, the widow of Rev. James S. Griffing, died 
at Manhattan, Kan., February 21, 1906. She was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Silas Goodrich, 
of Owego, Tioga county. New York, and was born January 26, 1829. She was married to Rev. 
James S. Griffing in Owego. September 13, 1855, and came to Kan.sas immediately, locating on a 
claim two miles east of Topeka, that her husband had preempted the year before. She was a 
cheerful helpmeet in the labors of an itinerant Methodist minister. 



Methodist Missions Among the Indians in Kansas. 193 

gave their consent. He rented for a year a small farm in the heart of the 
tribe, with a brick house, orchard, and other accommodations. The owner 
was a blind Indian, of the Zane stock. 

In 1855 only two missions were suppUed by the Methodist Episcopal 
church — the Delaware and Wyandot — served by J. H. Dennis, Charles 
Ketchum, and one supply. 

Among the many traditions held by the Shawnee Indians was one about 
the creation. In all essential points it agreed well with the account given 
in Genesis, up to the flood. Soon after Rev. Thomas Johnson began his 
work at the mission, at a meeting of their council a committee of leading 
Indians was appointed to hear him preach, and report to the next council. 
Accordingly the committee were at the next Sunday service to hear the 
missionary. Knowing of this tradition, Mr. Johnson preached on the crea- 
tion. When the committee made their report, it was that the missionary 
knew what they knew, only much better, and the council decided to receive 
the missionary and his message. 5" 

Early in his operations he began the translation of parts of the Gospel 
into the Shawnee language. This work had to be done through native in- 
terpreters, though not Christians. Mr. Johnson said that the first thing 
that seemed to make a deep impression on them, and especially on Paschal 
Fish, who afterwards became a leader in Christian work and a missionary 
to other tribes, was the parable of the rich man and Lazarus. 

Many of their traditions have so striking a resemblance to Bible narra- 
tives and customs, that Captain Parks, head chief, seemed to think they 
had descended from the Israelites. He was a Freemason, and he told Rev. 
Mr. Spencer, missionary, that the Indians had always had a form of Masonry 
almost exactly like ours. 

THE KAW MISSION. 

The following extract from a letter of Rev. Alexander McAlister, pre- 
siding elder of the Cape Girardeau district, to Rev. Jesse Greene, presiding 
elder of the Missouri district, which embraced the western portion of Mis- 
souri and the Indian country, will exhibit the inception of that enterprise 
for the education of the Indians on our western frontier. Says McAlister, 
under date of April 2, 1830: 

' ' I have just time to write a few lines by Brother Peery, in which I wish 
to call your attention to the Kaw Indians on your frontiers. Col. Daniel 
[Morgan] Boone, who is the government's farmer among those Indians, 
married Mr.''^ McAlister 's sister, which circumstance has led to a corre- 
spondence between him and myself and the government's agent of those 
Indians. Boone is among them, perhaps thirty or forty miles from Fort 
Osage. He promises to do all he can for the support of a school among 
that tribe. The agent also promised to assist as far as he can, and informs 
me that the Kaw Indians, according to the provisions of a treaty with the 

Note 50. — "Considerable stress has been laid upon the traditions of the Indians, some of 
which have been thought to favor the idea of their descent from Israel ; but it is probable that 
none have ever become acquainted with the traditions of any tribe until after the tribe had de- 
rived some notions of Christianity from white men."— Isaac McCoy, History of Baptist Indian 
Missions, 1840, introductory remarks, p. 14. 

Note 51. — It is possible that this^should read "Mrs." McAlister's sister, as Mr. Cone says, 
in Capital article of August 27, 1879, " Col. Daniel M. Boone was married to Sarah E. Lewis in 
1800." 

-13 



194 



Kansas State Historical Society. 




REV. JOHN THOMPSON PEERY, 
For eight years missionary to the Indians. 



government, have a considerable sum of money''-' set apart to support 
schools among themselves, and the agent advises us to get in there imme- 
diately and secure that fund, and improve it to their benefit, I think you 
might visit them and know all about it soon, and perhaps get some pious 
young man to go and commence a school among them before conference." 

The Brother Peery by vi'hom 
this letter was sent to his pre- 
siding elder was Rev. E. T. 
Peery, who at this time had 
charge of the Missouri circuit. 
At the conference held in St. 
Louis the September following, 
two missionary appointments 
for Kansas, as we have already 
stated, were made — Rev. 
Thomas Johnson to the Shaw- 
nees, and Rev. William Johnson 
totheKaws. Rev. William John- 
son was born in Nelson county, 
Virginia, February 2, 1805, and 
removed with his father to Mis- 
souri in 1825, the year in which 
the Kaw reservation was laid 
out on the Kansas river. 
Just previous to the appointment of Mr. Johnson as missionary to the 
Kaws, the main body of that tribe was living in a large village on the north 
side of the Kansas river directly below the mouth of the Big Blue, in Pot- 
tawatomie county. Five years before, their lands had been curtailed, the 
eastern boundary had been placed sixty miles west of the Missouri state line. 
By the same treaty twenty-three half-breed Kaw children were each given 
a mile square of land fronting on the north bank of the Kansas river, and 
running for length eastwardly from the Kaw reserve proper, now the 
western boundary of Soldier township, Shawnee county, to about four miles 
east of the Delaware, in Jefferson county. The same treaty provided a 
blacksmith and farmer for the tribe, who, together with the agent, located, 
about 1827, on what they probably thought was the easternmost half-breed 
allotment. No. 23, but they were really situated just east of the line, on land 
which had been given the Delawares. By 1830 quite a little settlement had 
grown up here and in the neighborhood, of agency officers, half-breed families 
and a few Indians, among the last was the family of White Plume, the head 
chief of the tribe, while Fred. Chouteau's trading-post was just south of the 
river. It was at this settlement, ^^ it has been suggested, that Mr. Johnson 
began his first missionary work, in December, 1830. 

Note 52. — "Out of the lands herein ceded by the Kanzas nation to the United States, the 
commissioner aforesaid, in behalf of the said United States, doth further covenant and agree 
that thirty-six sections of good lands on the Big Blue river shall be laid out under the direction 
of the president of the United States, and sold for the purpose of raising a fund, to be applied, 
under the direction of the president, to the support of schools for the education of the Kanzas 
children within their nation."— Article 5. treaty with the Kansa, 1825, in Indian Affairs, Laws, 
and Treaties, 1904. vol. 2, p. 223. 

Note 53.— Regarding the situation of the first Kaw agency, Daniel Boone, a son of Daniel 
Morgan Boone, government farmer to the Kaws, says, in a letter to Mr. W. W. Cone, dated West- 
port, Mo., August 11, 1879: "Fred. Chouteau's brotlier established his trading-post across the 
river from my father's residence the same fall we moved to the agency, in the year 1827. The 



Methodist Missions Among the Indians in Kajisas. 195 

MAP DRAWN BY JOHN C. McCOY. 
Observe that this map is drawn upside down. Top is south. 







Ka.v aj^ency, 1S27. 
Section 4, township 12, range 19 east. 



' The situation was somewhat as above - 



I Kaw half-biefed allotment No. 23, of 
I Joseph James, 1825. 

I Thos. R. Bayne, 1854. 

I mean of the agency," 



This same year the Kaw Indians removed from their old village at the 
mouth of the Blue and located in three villages, each named for its own chief, 
a little east of the present post village of Valencia, in Shawnee county, 
one north and the other two south of the Kansas river, near Mission creek. 
Here Fred. Chouteau moved his trading-post the same year, Mr. W. W. 
Cone, of Brandsville, Mo., to whom I am greatly indebted, says in his splen- 
did article entitled "The First Kaw Indian Mission" (published in volumes 
1 and 2 of the Kansas Historical Society's Collections), that William John- 
son pursued his mission work among the Indians of these three villages from 
1830 to 1832. He cannot quote his authority for this statement, but thinks it 
is based on sufficient grounds for belief. The fact, however, that "seven- 
whites" appear to have attended the mission school during that period, and 

land reserved for the half-breeds belonged to the Kaws. The agency was nearly on the line in- 
side the Delaware land, and we lived half-mile east of this line, on the bank of the river." 

Survey 23, the property of Joseph James, was the most easterly of the Kaw half-breed lands. 
The first Delaware land on the Kansas river east of this survey is section 4, township 12, range 19 
east ; hence the site of the old agency. August 16, 1879, Mr. Cone and Judge Adams, piloted by 
Thos. R. Bayne, owner of survey No. 23, visited the site of the agency. In the Topeka Weeklj/ 
Capital of August 27 Mr. Cone says: "We noticed on the east of the dividing line, over on the 
Delaware land, the remains of about a dozen chimneys, although Mr. Bayne says there were at 
least twenty when he came there, in 1854." 

John C. McCoy, in a letter to Mr. Cone, dated August, 1879, says : " I first entered the terri- 
tory August 15, 1830. ... At the point described in your sketch, on the north bank of the 
Kansas river, seven or eight miles above Lawrence, was situated the Kansas agency. I recollect 
the following persons and families living there at that date, viz.: Marston G. Clark, United 
States sub-Indian agent, no family ; Daniel M. Boone, Indian farmer, and family ; Clement Lessert, 
interpreter, family, half-breeds ; Gabriel Phillibert, government blacksmith, and family (whites); 
Joe Jim, Gonvil, and perhaps other half-breed families. ... In your sketch published in 
the Capital you speak of the stone house or chimney, about two miles northwest of the Kansas 
agency. That was a stone building built by the government for White Plume, head chief of the 
Kanzans, in 1827 or 1828. There was also a large field fenced and broken in the prairie adjoining 
toward the east or southeast. We passed up by it in 1830, and found the gallant old chieftain sit- 
ting in state, rigged out in a profusion of feathers, paint, wampum, brass armlets, etc., at the 
door of a lodge he had erected a hundred yards or so to the northwest of his stone mansion, and in 
honor of our expected arrival the stars and stripes were gracefully floating in the breeze on a 
tall pole over him. He was large, fine-looking, and inclined to corpulency, and received my 
father with the grace and dignity of a real live potentate, and graciously signified his willing- 
ness to accept of any amount of bacon and other presents we might be disposed to tender him. 
In answer to an inquiry as to the reasons that induced him to abandon his princely mansion, his 
laconic explanation was simply, 'too much fleas.' A hasty examination I made of the house 



196 Kansas State Historical Society. 

the further fact that no white families were located at the upper villages, 
would indicate that his work was done at the Kaw agency, in Jefferson county. 
Though he had no good interpreter, and the Indians could speak but little Eng- 
lish, some good impressions were made. Three white persons were brought to a 
knowledge of the truth, and those who attended the mission school, nine 
Indians and seven whites, made a good beginning in leaning to spell and read. 
Mr. Johnson strove hard to learn their language. He spent nearly two 
years in this mission, when he was sent as a missionary to the Delawares. 
In 1835 Maj. Daniel Morgan Boone, son of the Kentucky pioneer, opened 
two farms near the Kaw villages.''^ It was this year that the Rev. Wm. 
Johnson, having married Miss Mary Jane Chick, at her father's home in 
Howard county, Missouri, May 24, 1834, received a second appointment 
from the conference as a missionary among the Kaws. During that summer 

justified the wisdom of his removal. It was not only alive with fleas, but the floors, doors and 
windows had disappeared, and even the casings had been pretty well used up for kindling- wood. 

Mr. Cone gives the following description of White Plume's stone house in his Capital article 
of August 27, 1879 : " Mr. Bayne showed us a pile of stone as all that was left of that well-known 
landmark for old settlers, the 'stone chimney.' It was located fifty yards north of the present 
depot at Williamstown, or Rural, as it is now called. Mr. Bayne, in a letter dated August 12, 
says : ' The old stone chimney or stone house to which you refer stood on the southwest quarter 
of section 29, range 19, when I came here, in 1854. It was then standing intact, e.xcept the roof 
and floors, which had been burnt. It was about 18 x34 and two stories high. There was a well 
near it walled up with cut stone, and a very excellent job.' " 

John T. Irving visited Kansas in the fall of 1833, and gives this entertaining account of his 
accidental visit to White Plume's residence, and the first Kansas Indian agency : 

"We emerged from the wood, and I found myself again near the bank of the Kansas river. 
Before me was a large house, with a court-yard in front. I sprang with joy through the unhung 
gate, and ran to the door. It was open : I shouted ; my voice echoed through the rooms ; but 
there was no answer. I walked in ; the doors of the inner chambers were swinging from their 
hinges, and long grass was growing through the crevices of the floor. While I stood gazing 
around an owl flitted by, and dashed out of an unglazed window ; again I shouted ; but there was 
no answer : the place was desolate and deserted. I afterwards learned that this house had been 
built for the residence of the chief of the Kanza tribe, but that the ground upon which it was 
situated having been discovered to be within a tract granted to some other tribe, the chief had 
deserted it, and it had been allowed to fall to ruin. My guide waited patiently until I finished my 
examination, and then again we pressed forward. . . . We kept on until near daylight, when 
we emerged from a thick forest and came suddenly upon a small hamlet. The barking of several 
dogs, which came flying out to meet us, convinced me that this time I was not mistaken. A light 
was shining through the crevices of a log cabin ; I knocked at the door with a violence that might 
have awakened one of the seven sleepers. ' Who dare— and vot de devil you vant? ' screamed a 
little cracked voice from within. It sounded like music to me. I stated my troubles. The door 
was opened ; a head, garnished with a red nightcap, was thrust out, and, after a little parley, I 
was admitted into the bedroom of the man, his Indian squaw, and a host of children. As, how- 
ever, it was the only room in the house, it was also the kitchen. I had gone so long without food 
that,' notwithstanding what I had eaten, the gnawings of hunger were excessive, and I had no 
sooner mentioned my wants than a fire was kindled, and in ten minutes a meal i I don't e.xactly 
know whether to call it breakfast, dinner, or supper) of hot cakes, venison, honey and coff'ee was 
placed before me, and disappeared with the rapidity of lightning. The squaw, having seen me 
fairly started, returned to her couch. From the owner of the cabin I learned that I was now at 
the Kanza agency, and that he was the blacksmith of the place. About sunrise I was awakened 
from a sound sleep, upon a bearskin, by a violent knocking at the door. It was my Indian guide. 
He threw out broad hints respecting the service he had rendered me and the presents he deserved. 
This I could not deny ; but I had nothing to give. I soon found out, however, that his wants were 
moderate, and that a small present of powder would satisfy him ; so I filled his horn, and he left 
the cabin apparently well pleased. In a short time I left the house, and met the Kanza agent. 
General Clark, a tall, thin, soldier-like man, arrayed in an Indian hunting-shirt and an old fox- 
skin cap. He received me cordially, and I remained with him all day, during which time he talked 
upon metaphysics, discussed politics, and fed me upon sweet potatoes." — Indian Sketches, 1835, 
vol. 2, pp. 264-268. 

Note 54. — " . . . The Kaw Indians had their village at the mouth of the Big Blue, where 
it empties in the Kaw river. After I removed the trading from the south side of the Boone farm 
[Kaw Indian farm in Jefl'erson county] and went and built below the mouth of American Chief 
creek, then the Kaw came down near the trading house. The Fool chief built on the north side 
of the river, the Hard chief on the west side of the river about two miles then above the mission, 
the American chief on the creek. That was in 18.32. As for the village you speak of. about fifteen 
miles above Topeka on the north side of the river, there never was any village there. The agent 
had 300 acres of land broke, fenced and planted for them [there! in 1835, and the Fool chief's village 
would go and camp there for a month, dry corn and also pumpkins, and gather their beans. I went 
with the agent and selected the most suitable place for a field. Also there was 300 acres selected 
on this side of the river for the Hard chief village, between Hard chief and the American Chief 
creek. ... P. S. — I omitted to mention the name of the agent that I went with to select 
the most suitable ground for a field was R. W. Cummins." — Letter of Frederick Chouteau to W. 
W. Cone, dated Westport, May 5. 1880. 

The following extracts from Father De Smet's ' Indian Sketches" are found in an account 



Methodist Missions Among the Indiana in Kansas. 197 

he erected the mission buildings on the northwest corner of section 33, 
township 11, range 14 east. 

The main building was a hewed-log cabin, thirty-six feet long and eighteen 
feet wide, two stories high, divided into four rooms, two above and two 
below, with a stone chimney on the west end of the building on the outside, 
the style of architecture peculiar to the people of the South. There were 
also a log kitchen, smoke-house, and other outbuildings. Mr. and Mrs. 
Johnson moved into this house in September, 1835, and for the next seven 
years labored faithfully among this tribe. They both learned to speak the 
language of the Kaws. Mrs. Johnson was a daughter of Col. William M. 
Chick. She died November 22. 1872. 

Early in March, 1842, Rev. William Johnson, accompanied by his wife, 
went to Independence, Mo., to attend a quarterly meeting, where he was 
taken sick with pneumonia. He recovered in about three weeks, having 
been cared for at the home of Rev. Thomas B. Ruble, visited Westport and 
Shawnee Mission, and then returned to his station at the Kaw mission. In 
April he made a business trip to the Shawnee Mission. The fatigue and 
exposure of the trip of sixty miles caused a relapse of the disease, pneu- 
monia. He became rapidly worse, and died April 8, 1842. An Indian mes- 
senger was dispatched to the Kaw mission to inform Mrs. Johnson of the 
illness of her husband. About twenty of the most prominent men of the 
tribe accompanied her. Mrs. Johnson arrived an hour after her husband's 
death. The Indians, having pushed on ahead, arrived a short time before 
the death of their beloved teacher. Mr. Johnson was buried at the Shawnee 
Mission. The funeral sermon was preached by Bishop Roberts, at the con- 
ference at Jefferson City, in August, 1842. No children were born to Mr, 
and Mrs. Johnson. In person Rev. Wm. Johnson was above medium height 
and well formed. He had great influence with the Kaw Indians. They re- 
garded him with veneration. It was through his influence that the Kaws 
permitted their children to attend the manual-labor school, and after his 
death the children were taken from the school.''' Soon after the death of 

of his visit made to Fool chief's village, in May, 1841 : "As soon as the Kanzas understood that we 
were going- to encamp on the banks of the Soldier's river, which is only six miles from the village, 
they galloped rapidly away from our caravan. . . . As for dress, manners, religion, modes of 
making war, etc., the Kanzas are like the savages of their neighborhood, with whom they have 
preserved peaceful and friendly relations from time immemorial. In stature they are gen- 
erally tall and well made. Their physiognomy is manly : their language is guttural and remark- 
able for the length and strong accentuation of the final syllables. Their style of singing is 
monotonous, whence it may be inferred that the enchanting music heard on the rivers of Pa a- 
guay never cheers the voyager on the otherwise beautiful streams of the country of the Kanzas. 
" With regard to the qualities which distinguish man from the brute, they are far from being 
deficient. To bodily strength and courage they unite a shrewdness and address superior to other 
savages, and in their wars or the chase they make a dexterous use of firearms, which gives them 
a decided advantage over their enemies. When we took leave of our hospitable hosts, two of 
their warriors, to one of whom they gave the title of captain, escorted us a short distance on the 
road, which lay through a vast field which had been cleared and planted for them by the United 
States, but which had been ravaged before the harvest- home." 

Note 55. — "There has been considerable exertion made by myself and the Rev. Wm. John- 
son, late a missionary among them, to get them to turn their attention to agricultural pursuits. I 
visited them in March last, in company with Mr. Johnson, who resided for several year.s among 
them, understood and spoke their language well, had become personally acquainted with, and, 
from a correct, honorable, firm course of conduct, he had secured to himself almost unbounded in- 
fluence among them. We stayed several days among them ; most of that time we spent in coun- 
cil with the whole nation, trying to get them to raise corn, etc., enough to .-ubsist them during 
the year. They made very fair promises, and I think that they intended to comply with them at 
the time, but, unfortunately, Mr. Johnson, on his way down to the manual-labor school, with 
eleven Kanzas boys, in company with me, at the crossing of the Wakarusa, where we encamped 
for the night, was taken sick, of which he never recovered. The death of this man, whom I con- 
sidered one of the best men I ever became acquainted with, was. I believe the greatest loss the 
Kanzas Indians ever met with. His last services expired when he returned the eleven Kanzas 
boys to the manual-labor school, part of which he rendered in great pain. The Kanzas render 



198 



Kansas State Historical Society. 



Mr. Johnson Rev. G. W. Love was appointed to take charge of the mission, 
but he remained only part of the year. He preached through an interpreter, 
Charles Fish, an educated Indian belonging to the school, and employed by 
the government as blacksmith for the Kaw^s. 

From the reports made to the conference, it would seem that our mission 
had but ill success among the Kaws; no members are reported for the year 
1835, but one white and one Indian for the year 1836, and for 1837 three 
whites and one Indian. 

In 1844 Mrs. Wm. Johnson 
was married to Rev. J. T. 
Peery,'"'' and early in the 
spring of 1845 Mr. Peery was 
sent to the mission for the 
purpose of establishing a 
manual-labor school among 
the Kaws. I make the follow- 
ing extract from a letter of 
Mr. Peery to W. W. Cone, 
dated " Miami, Saline county, 
Missouri, December 30, 1880, ' ' 
describing the mission prem- 
ises: 

"On the southwest was a 
small garden, enclosed, as was 
the yard, with split palings. 
We had a good horse-lot on 
the east; south of the house 
was a field, but no fence about 
it, perhaps twenty acres, s" 
The spring was very wet and 
unfavorable, and we failed to 
raise a good crop. The first 
year I had in my employ a 
young man by the name of 
James Foster, a good young 
man, and others not necessary 
to mention. The next year I was appointed farmer for the Kaws. We had 
about 115 acres of corn. We herded our stock, and put them in pens at 




MRS. MARY JANE JOHNSON-PEERY, nee CHICK. 

For seven years teacher and matron in the Kaw mission 
school, and other years at the manual-labor school. 



many excuses for not turning their attention to agricultural pursuits the present year ; the 
principal one is, they say they were afraid to work for fear the Pawnees would come on them 
and kill them all off." Richard W. Cummins, Agent. — Report Commissioner of Indian Affairs, 
1842, p. 6.3. 

Note 56. — Rev. John Thompson Peery was born in Tazewell county, Virginia, February 18, 
1817. He was converted in 1834, and came with his father'.s family to Grundy county, Missouri, 
in the following year. In the winter of ISS.S he taught school in Clay county, Missouri. He was 
licensed to preach in 1837. He labored among the Kansas Indians during 184.'i and 1846, when he 
was sent to the Cherokees. The ne.xt year. 1848, he was appointed missionary to the Wyandots, 
and. in 1849, was at the Shawnee manual-labor school, according to the list of conference ap- 
pointments. In 1860 he was transferred to the Kansas conference, and stationed at Leavenworth. 
Mr. Peery was unanimously elected chaplain of the Kansas territorial house of representatives 
on July 16, 18.'5,5, the first day of the adjourned session at the manual-labor school. — House Jour- 
nal, 1855, p. 34. Three days later the council resolved, "That the president of the council [Rev. 
Thomas Johnson] be instructed by the council to invite Rev. Mr. Peery, or some other minister 
of the Gospel, to open the daily sittings of the council by prayer." — Council Journal, 1855, p. 39. 
He was one of the leading men of the Missouri conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church 
South. He died January 5. 1890, and is buried at Drake's chapel, Henry county, Missouri. He 
spent thirty-eight years in the ministry. 

Note 57.— Daniel Boone, son of the Kaw farmer, wrote Mr. Cone, August 18, 1879: "I also 
broke twenty acres of the land referred to by you on Mission creek," the field mentioned by Mr. 
Peery. 



Methodist Missions Among the Indians in Kansas. 199 

night. I employed a young man by the name of Clark to attend to the farm- 
ing business. I also employed a young man by the name of S. Cornatzer,58 
who proved himself to be a true and useful man. He still lives in Kansas, 
I believe. We raised a very large crop. The agent gave us a part of the 
crop. ' ' 

Mr. and Mrs. Peery kept a few Indian children at the mission and taught 
them through the first year. The school was then discontinued. ^9 

An account of the conversion of Fool Chief is given in the Kansas His- 
torical Society Collections, vol. 8, p. 426. 

It appears that Rev. Thomas Johnson kept a journal of at least a part of 
the period of his ministry spent in Kansas. This journal, covering an ac- 
count of a tour of visitation of several of the missions, was sent to the cor- 
responding secretary of the mission society of the Methodist Episcopal 
church, under date of August 11, 1837. The first entry is May 4, 1837, and 
tells of a visit to the Kaw Mission: 

"May 4th [1837]. Set out for the Kanzas mission, in company with the 
Rev. N. Henry, of Independence circuit, Major Cummins, Indian agent, 
and Mr. Cephas Case. The wind blew very hard in the prairie, which ren- 
dered it very unpleasant traveling. We stopped early in the evening to 
camp, as there was no good camping-ground in reach had we rode until night. 

"5th. Started early, rode hard all day, and got to the mission a little 
before night. We met some 400 or 500 of the Kanzas Indians going to the 
white settlements to beg provisions, for they had nothing to eat at home. 
And those who had not gone to the white settlements to beg provisions were 
nearly all scattered over the prairies, digging wild potatoes. 

' ' 6th. The agent called the principal men together and spent the day in 
counseling with them relative to the various interests of the nation. The 
prospect of these people is very gloomy; and it seems nothing can save 
them from starvation, unless we can get them to adopt the habits of civil- 
ized people; and this is not likely to be done, unless they can be brought 
under the influence of the Christian religion— and this cannot be done at 
present, for the want of suitable means of access to them. Oh, that God 
may open the way, and speedily give us access to these people! We made 
arrangements to take a few children into the mission family, and gave each 
of the chiefs the privilege of furnishing one, either his own son or some 
other boy whom he may select. 

"7th. Bro. Henry preached for us an interesting sermon. 

"8th. Started for home, rode forty miles, and encamped at the same 
place where we camped as we went up. I slept quite comfortably, notwith- 
standing the ground was my bed, having but one blanket to cover me. 

"9th. Got home and was glad to find my family well. 

"13th. Met the school committee at the Shawnee Mission to organize our 
school for another year. All appear to act in harmony, and sustain the 
school. It is, certainly, a great nelp in an Indian school when we can get a 
judicious committee of natives to take the responsibility of making the 
rules for the government of the Indian children, and then to see that the 
children attend the school. 

"June 6th. Bro. A. Monroe, presiding elder of the Missouri district, 
arrived, having been appointed at our last conference, in connection with 
Bros. Redman and Henry, to visit our missions. 

"7th. We set out for the Peori mission. Had a pleasant time in travel- 
ing through the prairie and talking over our various matters relative to the 
state of the church in the Missouri conference. A little before night we 

Note 58.— Samuel Cornatzer was employed a while as a laborer at the Shawnee Mission, 
and also had charge of the Kaw mission after the death of the Rev. Wm. Johnson. About 1850 
he married an Indian girl who had been educated at the Shawnee Mission. He then built a 
house and opened a farm near the point where the Santa Fe road crosses 110 Mile creek, Osage 
county. He died a few years ago in the Cherokee nation, Indian Territory. 

Note 59.— Cutler's History of Kansas, 1883. p. 60. 



200 Kansas State Historical Society. 

arrived at the Peori mission, and met with Bros. Redman, Henry, and 
Ashby, who had gone another route and got there before us. 

"8th. Held meeting twice ; had a very interesting meeting in the even- 
ing. We were very busy all day in attending meeting, makmg out an in- 
voice of mission property, etc. 

"9th. We rode to Shawnee Mission. Spent the principal part of the day 
discussing various questions relative to the financial part of our missions, to 
see if our plans could be improved. These discussions caused the time to 
pass off much more pleasantly than it generally does while traveling through 
these extensive prairies alone. 

"10th. We met the Saganaw mission; but few attended until late in the 
evening. They then crowded the house, and we had a pleasant time. 

"11th. The Sabbath. We held a love-feast in the morning. Each re- 
lated the dealings of God with his own soul, in his own language. At eleven 
o'clock Bro. Monroe preached, and then administered the sacrament. We 
took up a collection for the poor and sick of the church— it amounted to 
twenty dollars. At the close of the sacramental services a call was given 
for mourners to come forward, and a considerable number came; we found 
it expedient to close, and meet again at four o'clock p. M. We met again 
in the evening. I have no doubt that this two days' meeting will prove a 
blessing to the Shawn ees and Delawares. 

"14th. Met with the Delawares. After preaching we had class-meeting. 
We were much edified in hearing the Delawares tell the state of their souls. 
What they said was interpreted into English, so that our visiting brethren 
could understand it. 

"17th and 18th. Held a two days' meeting with the Kickapoos. On the 
Sabbath we held a love-feast in the morning and administered the sacrament 
at noon. More than 200 communed, and 400 or 500 were present; nearly all 
appeared affected. It was to me a time of unusual interest, to see and hear 
the Christian Indians of different nations, speaking different languages, all 
uniting their petitions at a throne of grace, and all wrought upon by the 
same spirit. 

"20th. Brs. Monroe, Redman, and Henry, having closed the labors for 
which they were appointed, left us, and started for their different fields of 
labor. We have no doubt but their visit to the missions will be attended 
with much good; for 1st, it is well calculated to strengthen the hands of the 
missionaries to have their brethren visit them occasionally, and unite with 
them in their labors, aid them by their counsels, and report the true state 
of our missions to the conference and to the world, and thus save the mis- 
sionaries from the embarrassment of always being compelled to report their 
own work. 2d. It will, we have no doubt, be a lasting blessing to the brethren 
thus sent. They will, from their own observations, be much better prepared 
to plead the cause of missions in their respective charges. 3d. It will be a 
help to the Indians to know that our brethren feel so much interest in their 
welfare; that they have been influenced to visit our missions and unite with 
the missionaries to promote the cause of religion among their people." 

"In a further report, which is full and satisfactory, Mr. Johnson states: 

'1st. The Shawnee Mission went on as at the time of the last report. 
Pastoral labor was becoming more arduous and difficult. That the crops 
were short from drought. Hoped they should have a sufficiency. 

'2d. The Delaware mission was prospering. The Christian party was 
likely to be strengthened by emigrants. That they were repairing build- 
ings, organizing schools, and anticipating good results. 

'3d. Peori mission. The principal men appeared to remain firm, though 
some appearances of a loss of zeal and animation among professors. The 
native leaders faithful, and worthy to be taken as examples by the whites. 
A small school kept up. The missionaries preach to different bands con- 
nected with this mission. Many in the church who would do no disgrace to 
any church, but are worthy to be copied. 

'4th. Kickapoo mission. Doing well; their number diminished by the 
Pottawatomies who were among them removing to their own lands. School 



Methodist Missions Among the Indians in Kansas. 201 

doing well. The work increases in importance, and many going forward in 
labors of love. 

'5th. Kanzas mission. The missionary had visited the Osage nation in 
hopes of finding a good interpreter to aid in preaching to the Kanzas. A 
few children under instruction. 

'6th. Potawattamy mission. More than 100 of Pottawatomies joined 
at Kickapoo mission and have recently removed to their own lands, request- 
ing a missionary may reside among them. The Rev. Dr. Leach appointed. 
He sees little prospect of success until they get settled.' "—History of Am. 
Missions to the Heathen, Spooner and Howland, 1840, pp. 543-545, in back of 
volume. 

The report of the mission society, from which the above extract is made, 
shows that for the entire Kansas mission district there were six stations, 
employing twelve missionaries and five school-teachers. There were 397 
members of the church, 23 whites and 374 natives, and 78 scholars. The 
report says: "These have already made delightful progress in learning. 
The people are advancing in agriculture and the arts. Let the friends of 
the missions bless God and take courage." 

In 1846 the government made another treaty with the Kaws, by which 
they relinquished their rights to the lands on the Kansas for another location 
at Council Grove, where they received a grant of 256,000 acres."" A few 
months previous to the removal of the Indians to Council Grove, Mr. Peery 
was appointed missionary to the Cherokees, and Mr. Mitchell, government 
blacksmith for the Kaws, moved into the mission buildings, and resided 
there till the spring of 1847. Then Isaac Mundy, blacksmith for the Potta- 
watomies, occupied it until the spring of 1850. At this time a half-breed 
Pottawatomie, Joseph Bourassa, moved into it, and remained there till 1853, 
when he tore the buildings down and removed the logs about one mile 
north, and there erected another residence. It is to be regretted that pic- 
tures of our mission buildings, with two exceptions, are not in existence. 

In 1847 the Kaws moved to their new reservation. The mission building, 
a picture of which appears elsewhere in this volume, was erected in 1850 by 
the Methodist Episcopal Church South. Funds "^^ were paid annually by the 
government for the support of the school. The walls of the building are of 
stone, quarried out of the bluffs near by. The woodwork is from the na- 
tive timber of the grove. It is now altered, and occupied as a residence. 
Originally it had eight rooms in the main part, and there were some out- 
buildings. At each end there are two large, projecting fireplace chimneys. 
The building is a stone structure and is yet in good repair. 

The mission and school at Council Grove were in charge of T. S. Huffaker 
and Rev. Henry Webster, the latter a Methodist minister from some place 
in Massachusetts. Mr. Webster had charge of the farming and stock and Mrs. 
Webster presided over the culinary department. The school was in charge 
of Mr. Huffaker, who had previously been employed several years as teacher 
in the Shawnee manual-labor school. The school was attended almost en- 
tirely by Indian boys. George P. Morehouse writes me that— 

"The Indians were never in sympathy with the movement and never al- 

Note60. — "Twenty miles square." — John Maloy, History of Morris county, ch. 2, published in 
The Cosmos. Council Grove, March 5. 1886. 

Note 61. — The treaty of 1846, article 2, says: "... One thousand dollars of the interest 
thus accruing shall be applied annually to the purposes of education in their own countrj'." — 
Indian Affairs, Laws, and Treaties, Washington, 1904, vol. 2, p. 553. Mr. Huffaker says that the 
mission building at Mission creek was built by the government. When the Kaws moved it was 
sold, and the money applied towards the new school building at Council Grove. 



202 Kansas State Historical Society. 

lowed their girls to enter the school. Indian girls are betrothed by their 
parents (in fact, sold) when they are very young. They regarded education 
and adopting the ways of the white man degrading and beneath true Indian 
caste and character. With this opposition, the school was principally com- 
posed of orphan children. The interpreter was 'Wm. Johnson,' a rather 
smart, good-looking Indian, named after Rev. Wm. Johnson, the first mis- 
sionary to the Kaw or Kansas tribe. I have been told that Mr. Johnson, on 
his death-bed, after reviewing his seven years' labor among the Kaws, said 
that it had accomplished Httle, as he knew of but one truly converted Indian, 
Sho-me-kos-see (the wolf). I understand that he advised against further 
work among them."-' While missionary work here at Council Grove was not 
productive of much visible good along religious lines, yet when I recently 
asked Mr. Huffaker what his judgment was, he said it was difficult to see 
much improvement in them as the results of missions and schools, except 
literary improvement. The Kaws were a peculiar tribe, very heathenish 
and superstitious, and not nearly as susceptible to education and religious 
instruction as most of the other tribes." 

Mr. Huffaker has furnished me the following account of the mission and 
its work: 

"The school for the Kansas Indians at Council Grove was established in 
the year 1851. The building was erected in 1850. The fund for the build- 
ing and maintenance of the school was furnished by the government out of 
funds due the Indians and held by the government in trust for this purpose. 
Rev. Thomas Johnson, of the Shawnee Mission, was authorized by the board 
of missions of the Methodist Episcopal Church South to contract for the 
buildings and for the management of the school. I, with H. W. Webster, 
took the contract for the management of the school and farm. Webster was 
married; I was single. Webster and family remained one year; he in charge 
of the farm, I in charge of the school. His family became dissatisfied so 
far from civilization and society, and returned to their adopted state, and I 
continued the school until 1854. There was during this period a blacksmith 
for the Indians named E. Mosier. The school averaged about thirty pupils, 
all boys. The Indians did not receive any religious instruction at this time— 
I mean the tribe as such. Religious observances were kept in the school 
and families. The branches taught were spelling, reading, writing, and 
arithmetic. None of them received instruction in the trades. The boys 
worked well on the farm. ' ' 

Mr. Huffaker was married in the old mission building on the 6th of May, 
1852, to Miss Eliza Baker, the officiating clergyman being a Rev. Mr. Nichol- 
son, a missionary on his way over the old Santa Fe trail to Mexico, who was 
stopping at the Kaw mission. Susie, their first daughter, was the first white 
child born in Morris county. 

While our mission work among the Kaws ceased in 1854 with Mr. Huf- 
faker's retirement from the mission, yet he seems to have continued his 
work among this tribe as "farmer for the Kaw Indians," as the following 
report to the commissioner of Indian affairs will show: 

"Kansas Agency, September 15, 1863. 
" Sir— I submit this as my report for the past year as farmer for the Kan- 
sas Indians. The Indians are still laboring under the same disadvantages 
mentioned in my last annual report, the same insufficient number of oxen, 
plows, and other agricultural implements; but they have, notwithstanding 
these difficulties, been able to plant more than 300 acres of ground, from 
which they will gather some 8000 or 9000 bushels of corn. They have de- 

NoTE 62. — The missionary worVcers among the Kaws seem to have felt great discouragement 
in the results of their labors, apparently comparing the habits and manner of thought of this 
wholly uncivilized Western tril>e with those of the half-civilized Shawnees, Delawares and 
Wyandots who were brought into this territory about the time civilization and mission work 
was offered to the Kansas. Many of the Shawnees in 1830 were half-breeds of good family, 
while among the Wyandots the last full-blood died early in the nineteenth century. 



Methodist Missions Among the Indians in Kansas. 203 

voted most of their time to the raising of corn, being better acquainted with 
the culture of corn than of other products. Many families have been unable 
to cultivate their farms as they should, owing to the fact that many of their 
able-bodied men have gone into the army, of whom more than eighty have 
enlisted in the United States service during the last year. The Indians are 
well pleased with their new mode of life, and say they do not desire to ex- 
change their present mode for their former. They, to commence another 
year favorably, should be furnished with an additional number of oxen, plows, 
etc. ; say twice the number they now have. T. S. Huffaker, 

Farmer for Kansas Indians." 

THE DELAWARE MISSION. 

The history of the Delawares is intimately connected with that of the 
Shawnees. Their reservation originally extended from the mouth of the 
Kansas river westward to the Kaw reservation, and embraced 2,208,000 
acres. «3 It was on the north side of the Kansas river, a very fertile section, 
and embraced Wyandotte, practically all of Leavenworth and Jefferson and 
portions of Shawnee and Jackson counties. Their reservation fronted on 
the Missouri river, from the mouth of the Kansas river to Fort Leaven- 
worth. <*^ In numbers they did not differ greatly from the Shawnees. The 
Delaware lands were mostly fine prairie interspersed with good timber. 
Their lands were considered the most valuable of all the territory occupied 
by the Indian tribes. Though the Delawares were considerably advanced in 
agriculture, they had but little literary culture. They were an energetic and 
enterprising people. 

The mission among the Delawares was opened in 1832, Rev. Wm. John- 
son and Rev. Thomas B. Markham having been appointed to take charge of 
the mission and school. The first report of membership was made the fol- 
lowing year— five whites and twenty-seven Indians. 

The fifteenth annual report of the missionary society, for 1834, contains 
the following: 

"Delaware, a gracious work of religion— forty church members, several 
of whom officiate as exhorters, regular in attendance at preaching and other 
means of grace. The school has twenty-four native children, who are learn- 
ing well. In the Sabbath-school are fourteen male and ten female scholars, 
conducted by three teachers and one superintendent- The children are cate- 
chized in the duties and doctrines of Christianity." 

Rev. Nathan Scarritt, in an unpublished manuscript, says : 

"Though many of the best membeis of the tribe embraced Christianity, 
the membership was never large, owing, as we suppose, to the strong preju- 
dice exhibited by the great majority against all Christian effort among them ; 
but a better little body of professing Christians would be hard to find among 
any people than was gathered together by our faithful missionaries. Moses 
Grinter and family, '*3 the Ketchums, and others, were of the salt of the 
earth." 

Note 63. — Report United States Commissioner of Indian Affairs, 1836, p. 397. 

Note 64. — Indian Affairs, Laws, and Treaties, Washington, 1904, vol. 2, p. 304. 

Note 65. — Moses R. Grinter came from Bardstown, Ky., and settled in what is now Wyan- 
■dotte county, Kansas, in January. 1831. His place was about nine miles out from Kansas City, 
and for a while was known as a station on the Union Pacific named Secondine. He died June 12, 
1878. His wife, Mrs. Anna Marshall Grinter, was born in Miami county, Ohio, January 8, 1820, 
and died in Wyandotte county, Kansas, June 28, 1905. Her father was a white man, and her 
mother a Delaware Indian. She came to Wyandotte with her parents in 1832. She was married 
to Moses R. Grinter, the first white man to locate in Wyandotte county. To this union there was 
born ten children, four of whom survive her. There were twenty-one grandchildren, thirty-six 
great-grandchildren, and five great-great-grandchildren. She was very proud of the fact that 
;she was an Indian. Her last audible prayer was in the musical Delaware Indian language. She 



204 Kansas State Historical Society. 

The highest membership reported for any year was 108, for 1844. In 
educational matters the Delawares did not make as commendable procuress 
as some of the other tribes. In February, 1844, an agreement"" was made 
with the superintendent, J. C. Berryman, by which the Delawares devoted 
all their school fund for the education of their children at the Shawnee 
manual-labor school for a term of ten years. The indifference of the Dela- 
wares in the matter of sending their children to the school wa« later a great 
disappointment to the superintendent. Rev. Thomas Johnson. 

The first church erected was in 1832, near a spring, in a beautiful grove, 
some of the old trees of which are still standing. The church was about 
forty by sixty feet, the frame of black walnut, and stood on the high divide 
on the site of the present town of White Church, facing east. The church 

was converted and united with the Methodist church in childhood, and for more than seventy 
years lived a consistent Christian life. When the church separated she adhered to the Southern 
church, in which she spent the remainder of her life. Her body rests in the cemetery at Grinter's 
chapel, where she held her membership for many years. 

Note 66. — "We, the undersigned chiefs of the Delaware nation, being invested with full au- 
thority to act in the premises for our nation whom we represent, do agree and bind ourselves as 
follows, viz.: 

"That we will encourage and patronize the Indian manual-labor school now in operation 
on the Shawnees' land, near the Fort Leavenworth agency site: First, by using our influence to 
send and keep a suitable number of the children of our tribe in said institution; and, secondly, 
by applying our school funds to its support; and our great father, the president of the United 
States, is hereby instructed and respectfully requested to cause to be paid over to Rev. J. C. 
Berryman, now superintendent of said institution, or to his successor in office, the entire pro- 
ceeds or interest arising on all our school funds annually, for the ensuing ten years, together 
withall arrearages due us to this time on said funds. 

"And the said J, C. Berryman, in behalf of said institution, agrees to receive and educate 
any number of Delaware children — not exceeding fifty at any one time, without the consent of 
said superintendent of said institution. It is herein understood that the Delaware children from 
time to time sent to the above-mentioned institution are to be comfortably clad and boarded at 
its expense. 

"And we, the undersigned chiefs, wish it to be understood that the instructions herein given 
to our great father, the president, respecting our school funds, are intended to supersede all in- 
structions previously given contrary to the spirit and intention of this agreement, and our agent, 
Maj. R. W. Cummins, is hereby requested to forward this agreement to the department, at 
Washington city, with such explanations as he may think proper to give. 

" February 28, 1844. J. C. Berryman. 

Capt. Nah-koomer, his X mark. Salt Petre, his X mark. 

Capt. Ketchum, his X mark. Nahgennan, his X mark. 

Sackendiather, his X mark. P. M. Scott, his X mark. 

Sankochia, his X mark. John Peters, his X mark. 

Cochatowha, his X mark. Capt. Swanac, his X mark. 

"Witness; Richard W. Cummins, Indian Agent." 

"I certify, on honor, that the above and foregoing agreement, made and entered into on the 
28th of February, 1844, by and between the Rev. J. C. Berryman, superintendent of the manual- 
labor school now in operation among the Shawnees under the Fort Leavenworth agency [and the 
chiefs of the Delaware tribe of Indians], was by me carefully read and explained to the Delaware 
chiefs whose names are thereunto annexed, and that they well understood its contents, and that 
it contained the agreement and understanding which they had made with the Rev. J. C. Berry- 
man, superintendent Indian manual-labor school, and that the Delaware chiefs made their marks 
to their names thereunto annexed in my presence. Richard W. Cummins, Indian Agent." 

"I have read with interest and pleasure the agreement of the 28th of February last, between 
the superintendent of the Methodist manual-labor school and the chiefs of the Delaware tribe of 
Indians, by which they devote all their school funds to the education of the children of .said tribe 
at said institution for the next ten years; during which time the entire amount of the interest 
accrued, accruing and to accrue shall be paid to the said superintendent, or his successor in. 
office. 

"I am glad to see this agreement; it manifests a friendly disposition to education. I do not 
see any objection to its conditional ratification by the department. The interest they are enti- 
tled to receive annually is $2844, and the arrearages of unpaid interest are upwards of $2000. The 
terms I would impose are: 

"1st. That there shall be always at least thirty Delaware children in a course of education 
at said school; and if at any time or for any period there shall be fewer than thirty under in- 
struction, the sum to be paid the superintendent shall abate $100 for every scholar short of the 
required number of thirty. 

"2d. That one-half of the scholars shall be female, as near as may be practicable. 

"3d. That in addition to the comfortable board and clothing stipulated for, there shall be 
furnished to every scholar, should he or she unfortunately require it. proper medical aid and ad- 
vice; and still further, books, stationery and whatever else shall be necessary to the successful 
prosecution of their studies and to their comfort and health. 

"4th. The interest to be paid annually, where it may suit the treasury: and this ratificatioa 



Methodist Missions Among the Indians in Kansas. 205 




MRS. ANNA M. GRINTER, 
Member of the Delaware tribe; died in 1905, at the 
age of eighty-five, and oldest of five genera- 
tions; for more than seventy years a commu- 
nicant in the Methodist church; supposed to 
be the last of the immigrants that came from 
Ohio in 1832. 



was frame and painted white, the 
structure thus giving name to the 
town. It was about the center 
of Wyandotte county, and some 
eight miles west of Kansas City, 
Kan. It was destroyed by a tor- 
nado in May, 1886. A stone me- 
irorial church was recently erected 
on the site of the one destroyed. •*' 

In the separation troubles of 
1845 the Delawares went with 
their church into the Southern 
branch. The Methodist Episcopal 
Church South has a society at 
White Church at the present time. 
In the early days a log parsonage 
was erected, a camp-ground was 
laid out, and camp-meetings were 
held for many years. 

The following is an abstract 
from the report of Thos. Mosely, 
jr., Indian agent, for the year 
1851: 



"In this tribe [Delawares], I 
find only one school ; the report of 
the Rev. Mr. Pratt is herewith 
sent, marked ' D. ' This indefati- 
gable missionary deserves great 
praise for the management and conducting of this school, whose benefits are 
so valuable to the Delaware tribe, being the only school within the limits of 
the tribe. 

"From my experience among the Indians, which has been for years, I 
am of the opinion that, with the less-civilized Indians, schools should be 
scattered about in all the strong bands of a tribe. This would afford the 
parents an opportunity to often visit them. The Indians are remarkably 
fond of their children, and it is a difficult matter to get them to send them 
far from home. 

"The Delawares have disposed of their education fund for several years 
yet to come ; it being vested in the Shawnee Mission manual-labor school. 
They have (for some cause not correctly known to me) refused to send their 
children to the Shawnee Mission school, which their fund sustains, for the 
space of a year. I feel in great hope that, with my aid, the Shawnee Mis- 
sion superintendent will be able to get back to his school some twenty or 
thirty of the Delaware children. 

' ' The Delaware mill, which was built by the Methodist missionary board 

to be subject to withdrawal, and the agreement itself to rescission, and to be annulled at the 
pleasure of the department. 

"5th. Reports of the number and progress of the Delaware scholars to be made prior to the 
annual payment. 

" Respectfully submitted, April 22, 1844. T. Hartley Crawford." 

"Approved, with this additional stipulation and condition: That the first within ai'ticle shall 
not in any way impair or change the number of children agreed in the treaty to be educated. 
That article is meant to limit the minimum number; but if more Delaware children shall be sent 
to the school, not exceeding in all fifty, they shall be received and educated upon the terms men- 
tioned. William Wilkins. 

"April 22, 1844." 

( Report United States Commissioner of Indian Affairs, 1844, pp. 368-370.) 

Note 67. — The church contains memorial windows for early missionaries. 



206 Kansas State Historical Society. 

as a boon for their education for a term of years, is now a complete wreck. 
I have visited it, and recommended the chiefs to retain $3000 out of the 
money they received from the Wyandots, which they did, for the purpose of 
rebuilding the mill ; but whether they will expend it for that purpose is, I am 
fearful, uncertain. The tribe is anxious it snould be rebuilt, as there is not 
a mill in the Indian country near, but the chiefs seem to feel indifferent." 
(Report United States Commissioner of Indian Affairs, 1851, p. 80.) 

The quarterly meetings for the Delaware and Wyandot missions were 
held alternately between the two nations. Rev. W. H. Goode describes 
one held among the Delawares in 1855, which was largely attended, quite a 
number being present from the neighboring tribes — Delawares, Wyandots, 
Shawnees, Kickapoos and Stockbridges all participating in the exercises and 
each speaking in his ovvm tongue. ''^ 

A prominent man among the Delawares was Charles Ketchum, for many 
years a preacher in the Methodist church. In appearance he was large and 
portly, of manly appearance and address. He was illiterate, but a man of 
good intellect and a fluent talker. When the church divided, in 1845, he ad- 
hered to the Northern branch, built a church himself, and kept the little 
remnant of the flock together.**'* He was settled on a good farm and re- 
ceived appointments from the conference regularly. He entered the min- 
istry in 1850 and was a regular member of the Kansas conference of the 
Methodist Episcopal church. Rev. Joab Spencer writes: "Charles and 
James Ketchum have both interpreted for me. Charles interpreted a ser- 
mon for me at a Delaware camp-meeting that resulted in from fifteen to 
twenty conversions. He was a notable Christian character, such as Blue- 
jacket." Charles Ketchum died on the Delaware reserve, July 20, 1860, 
aged forty-nine years. 

In the History of the Delawares, by Charles R. Green, of Lyndon, Kan., 
p. 175, is the following concerning Rev. James Ketchum: 

"Rev. James Ketchum was born in 1819. He was a convert to the Metho- 
dist Episcopal faith in youth, preaching in his own language at White Church, 
Wyandotte county, Kansas, and to a portion of the Delawares in the Chero- 
kee nation, after their removal, in 1868, and was considered one of the most 
eloquent orators of the Delaware tribe." 

He is now dead. Mr. Green also states that Lewis Ketchum was still 
living in 1903, ten miles southeast of Vinita, I. T., between eighty and ninety 
years of age, the oldest member of his tribe. 

Prominent among the missionaries among the Delawares were the brothers 
E. T. and J. Thompson Peery, Learner B. Stateler,-" and N. M. Talbot. 
The name of Rev. W. C. Ellefrit occurs in the list of missionaries for 1837. 

Note 68.— Outposts of Zion, p. 307. 

Note 69.— Id., p. 296. 

Note 70.— Rev. Learner Blackman Stateler was born near Hartford, Ohio county. 
Kentucky, July 7, 1811. He was of German parentage. He was licensed to preach in 1830, and 
the next year made his way from Kentucky to Missouri on horseback. In 1833 he was sent as 
missionary to the Creek Indians. In 1837 he was appointed to the Delaware Indian mission, 
where he remained till 1840, when he was transferred to the Shawnee Mission, where he re- 
mained till 1844, in which year he was appointed presiding elder of the Choctaw district. Indian 
Territory. In 1845 he returned to Shawnee and served as presiding elder of the Kansas River 
district, Methodist Episcopal Church South, till 1850. In 1862 he took charge of the work in 
Denver, and later was a missionary to Montana, where he died. May 1, 1895, having spent sixty- 
five years on the Western frontier. He was married in 1836 to Melinda Purdom, a native of 
North Carolina. She served as matron and manager of the girls' boarding-house at the Shawnee- 
manual-labor school for a short time. She died in Montana in 1889. 



Methodist Missions Among the Indians in Kansas. 



207 




REV. JAMES KETCHUM, 
Delaware chief and interpreter. 



He was no doubt a teacher, as his name does not appear in the list of minis- 
terial appointments. 

The interpreters for the Northern branch of the church were Isaac Johnny- 
cake, Paschal Fish, and Charles Ketchum; those for the Southern branch, 
James Ketchum, Jacob Ketchum, and Ben. Love. Henry Tiblow was the 
United States interpreter. 

I am indebted in the preparation of this paper to Geo. U. S. Hovey, of 
White Church, Kan. Mr. Hovey died at White Church January 7, 1906. 

THE KICKAPOO MISSION. 

The Kickapoos occupied a reservation in northeastern Kansas which is 
now parts of Brown, Atchison and Jackson counties. Their country lay 
north of the Delawares, extending up the Missouri river twenty miles in a 
direct line, then northwestward about sixty miles, and thence south twenty 



208 Kansas State Historical Society, 

miles to the Delaware line, and included 768,000 acres."' As a tribe, the 
Kickapoos are thus described by Rev. W. H. Goode, who visited this reser- 
vation in the early days: 

"The numbers of this tribe are considerable; their lands were good. In 
character and general improvements they are a degree below the tribes just 
now noticed— the Wyandots, Shawnees, and Delawares— have no very promi- 
nent men, and have attracted less attention. Some missionary effort has 
been expended among them, the results of which are still seen in the piety 
of some of the tribe. Among them the prophet Ken-i-kuk '- appeared to run 
his race. His vagaries were a serious drawback to the work; though it is 
believed that he afterward became a true penitent." 

In civilization their condition was similar to that of the Weas and Peorias. 
A mission was organized in 1833,"' and Rev. Jerome C. Berryman '* appointed 
to the work in the fall of that year, continuing in charge of it till the fall of 
1841. The Kickapoos lived on the southeastern extremity of their lands, 
near Fort Leavenworth, and here our mission was situated. Rev. J. C. 
Berryman gives the following interesting account of his introduction to the 
work among the Kickapoos: 

"The Kickapoos had been but recently removed from Illinois [and Missouri] 
to their new location on the Missouri river, and were still living only in wig- 
wams. In fact, they had never been, properly speaking, settled, but had 
always led a roving life. On my first visit to them at their village, I was 

Note 71.— Treaty of 1832, Indian Affairs, Laws, and Treaties. Washington, 1904, vol. 2, p. 365: 
see, also. Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, 1836, p. 397. 

Note 72. — " Kelukuk, alias the Kickapoo prophet, one of the Kickapoo chiefs, is a professed 
preacher, of an order which he himself originated some years ago. His adherents are about 400 
in number, some of whom are small boys and girls. He professes to receive all that he teaches 
immediately from the Great Spirit by a supernatural agency. He teaches abstinence from the 
use of ardent spirits, the observation of the Sabbath, and some other good morals. He appears 
to have little knowledge of the doctrines of Christianity, only as his dogmas happen to agree 
with them. Congregational worship is performed four days in the week, and lasts from one to 
three hours."- Isaac McCoy, Annual Register of Indian Affairs, No. 2, pp. 31, 32. For a more 
extended account, see reference. 

The post village Kennekuk, Atchison county, formerly the agency of the Kickapoos, was 
named for this chief. 

Note 73. — McCoy's Annual Register of Indian Affairs, January, 1835, p. 30. 

Note 74.— In 1833 Mr. Berryman was appointed to the Kickapoo Indian mission and school. 
As no mission had yet been established among the Kickapoos in Kansas, the appointment meant 
that he was to open a station, collect children, and start a school. As soon as shelter could be 
secured. Brother Berryman and wife entered on the work. It was her part to act as matron and 
teach; in fact, the work of the school fell to her lot, but she was equal to the task. She was well 
endowed and well equipped for the place, which she held with success for eight years, when Mr. 
Berryman was removed to the Shawnee manual-labor school, where Mrs. Berryman was connected 
with that school till her death, which occurred July 28. 1846. Then the loved sister and mother, 
as the Indians called her, was laid to rest in the mission burying-ground, where she now sleeps. 

Jerome Cousin Berryman was born in Ohio county, Kentucky, in 1810. He came to Missouri 
in 1828. Soon after he was licensed to preach, and that same year was admitted into the Missouri 
conference. For five years he served the white work in Missouri, and in 1833 was appointed mis- 
sionary to the Kickapoos, at their village, not very far from Fort Leavenworth. Kan. He re- 
mained in charge of this mission for eight years. In 1841 he was appointed superintendent of the 
Indian manual-labor school, where he remained for six years, having a part of this time charge 
of the Indian Mission conference. At the conference of 1847 he was taken from the Indian work 
and placed on Cape Girardeau district as presiding elder. From this date we find him serving 
district and station, and engaged in the educational work of the church He was the last 
surviving member of the general conference of 1844. Mr. Berryman and Miss Mary C. Cissna 
were married in Kentucky, October 6, 1831. 

While reading proof on this paper the author received a copy of the St. Louis Republican 
with a special from Birmingham. Ala., where the general conference of the Methodist Episcopal 
Church .South was in session, reporting that the news of the death of Rev. J. C. Berryman, at 
Caledonia, Mo., had caused profound sorrow among the members of the Missouri delegation. He 
died on May 8, soon after answering a greeting from the conference. He was the oldest Method- 
ist minister, having celebrated his ninety-sixth birthday in February. His reply to the greeting 
was: "Please convey to the conference and church at large fraternal benediction, with the as- 
surance that I am still preaching from the grand text. Job xix, 25. "For I know that my re- 
deemer liveth. and that He shall stand at the latter day upon the earth." After hearing of his 
death the following re.solution was passed by the general conference: "We have heard with sor- 
row of the death of the Rev. J. C. Berryman, the sole survivor of the historic general conference 
of 1844, at the close of almost a century of heroic faith and tireless labor for Christ." 



Methodist Missions Among the Indians in Kansas. 209 

alone and spent a night with them, occupying a wigwam with a large family 
of Indians. Around the interior of the wigwam were spread on the ground 
mats made of rushes, of which, also, the wigwam itself was constructed, 
and these served all the purposes of chairs, tables, and beds. The manner 
of going to bed I observed was for each person to wrap himself or herself 
in a blanket and lie down on these mats. I of course followed the example, 
and having a large Mackanaw blanket of my own, used it in like manner, 
without the formality of undressing. But tired nature's sweet restorer re- 
fused to visit my wakeful lids, and seemed content to lodge only with my 
new and very strange companions for that night. It did not take me long 
to have some log-cabin buildings erected for my family, and a schoolhouse 
of the same sort in which to open a school; and by midwinter I had about 
ninety children in attendance. Here for eight consecutive years, with my 
faithful wife and other helpers, I labored in teaching the young and the old; 
often preaching to the soldiers at the fort, and also frequently visiting and 
helping at the other mission stations among the Shawnees, Delawares, 
Peorias, and Pottawatomies. In the fall of 1841 Nathaniel M. Talbot was 
taken from Peoria mission and appointed to Kickapoo, and I was put in 
charge at the Indian manual-labor school, Thomas Johnson's health having 
failed, so that he had to leave. Our work was greatly owned and blessed of 
God in the Christianizing and civilizing of hundreds of Indians. 

"Returning from the conference at Cane Hill, Ark., to St. Charles county, 
Missouri, where I had left my wife, I made haste to get up a traveling outfit 
suitable for the occasion; and soon, with what was then called a carryall, 
wagon, and a good horse, I was on the road for Kickapoo mission, distant 
about 275 miles, accompanied by my wife and a young woman who went 
along as company and help for her. We arrived at Shawnee Mission in 
about eight or ten days, twenty-five miles short of our final destination; for 
Kickapoo mission, as yet only on paper, was still that distance further up 
the Missouri river, near Fort Leavenworth. A few days' rest at Shawnee, 
and then Brother Thomas Johnson and myself went on up to Fort Leaven- 
worth for the purpose of consultation with the government oflficials and the 
Indians about the location of the contemplated mission among the Kicka- 
poos." 

The work among this tribe seems to have been prosperous from the start, 
the report for the year 1834 showing that 2 whites and 230 Indians were en- 
rolled in the mission and school. Rev. John Monroe was appointed this year 
to assist Mr. Berryman. The fifteenth annual report of the missionary so- 
ciety, for the year 1834, refers to the Kickapoos as follows : 

' ' Flourishing. A church recently organized of 230 members, of natives 
belonging to the Kickapoos and Pottawatomies, some of whom formerly be- 
longed to the Iroquois mission." 

Mr. Berryman, in some reminiscences, thus speaks of his appointment to 
this work, his arduous labors as conference superintendent, and pays a 
beautiful tribute to his devoted wife and helper : 

"I have ever believed that my marriage had much to do in procuring this 
appointment for me. My wife was eminently fitted for work of this kind, 
and it was essential to success that the missionary should have with him a 
suitable companion, who could be at once the sharer of his privations and 
toils, and fill the position of mother and matron in the mission school. In 
all these respects the woman I had married proved herself inferior to none. 
She was universally loved by her associates and the Indians, many of whom 
dehghted to call her sister and mother. She finished her work in great 
peace, at Shawnee manual-labor school, on the 28th of July, 1846, having 
spent twelve of the best years of her life feeding the lambs of Christ's 
flock, and now sleeps in the grave by the side of the Johnsons and other 
missionary coworkers, at the place where she died. 

"I spent eight years at Kickapoo mission, and six at the Indian manual- 

-14 



210 Kansas State Historical Society. 

labor school and in the superintendency of the Indian Mission conference, 
which was organized at the general conference of 1844. It embraced the 
entire Indian Territory, then extending from the Missouri river on the 
north to Red river on the south, a distance of 500 miles along the border of 
the states of Missouri and Arkansas, and included the following tribes: 
Shawnees, Delawares, Wyandots, Senecas, Kickapoos, Pottawatomies, 
Munsees, Osages, Pawnees, Kansas, Quapaws, Cherokees, Creeks, Choc- 
taws, Chickasaws, and Seminoles. My duty in this superintendency re- 
quired frequent long journeys performed on horseback, generally alone, 
lodging in Indian cabins, and taking such fare as their scanty supplies af- 
forded, yet sometimes even in Indian families I enjoyed such hospitality as 
would do credit to the best homes in civilized communities." 

The school established in 1833 numbered in 1835 forty scholars. The 
children were boarded at the mission house and "taught gratuitously. All 
dine at the mission house on school days; and eight of them are supported 
by the mission. " "^ In 1836 Mr. Berryman was employed by the government 
to teach in its school, receiving as compensation a salary of $480 a year."^ 
"Receiving his support from the Methodist missionary society, [he] applies 
the salary which he receives from the government as teacher to the support 
of the native scholars and to other purposes of the mission. The mission 
buildings and the United States schoolhouse are on the same grounds." 
Only six scholars were reported in the government school this year."" 

For the year 1839, Mr. Berryman reported but sixteen scholars in the 
mission school, that number being the average for a year or two previous. 
In his report he says: 

"These are tolerably regular, though of late, through the detrimental 
influence of the prophet and others, we have found it diflficult to keep the 
children in regular and orderly attendance, and it seems to me that at pres- 
ent it is almost impracticable to keep our school under good discipline and 
management while the children can, at any moment when they become dis- 
satisfied, abscond and go home with impunity." 

The teacher employed by our missionary society this year was Miss 
Elizabeth Lee. The branches taught were geography, arithmetic, reading, 
writing, and spelling. The scholars, twelve boys and three girls, were pro- 
vided with American names, as follows: Jesse, Silas, Joseph, George, Ste- 
phen, Jane, Amelia, Sarah, etc. 

A majority of the Kickapoos were decidedly averse to sending their chil- 
dren to school. From 1839 on the Kickapoo children were sent to the man- 
ual-labor school of the Shawnee Mission, but few seem to have attended. 
The only year any are reported from this tribe was 1840— a total of three. 
The report to the commissioner of Indian affairs for the year 1860, page 
100, would lead us to believe that the tribe supported a school of its own. 
The report is as follows: 

"Kickapoo Agency, Muscotah, Atchison county, K. T., October 22, I860.— 
. . . The mission school was closed in June last, as heretofore reported. 
The Indians are now awaiting the reestablishment of a school under the di- 
rection of the missionary board of the Methodist Episcopal Church South." 

Note 75. —Isaac McCoy, Annual Register of Indian Affairs, vol. 1, p. 30. 

Note 76.— By the treaty of 1832, article 7, the United States agreed to pay $500 per annum for 
ten successive years for the support of a school, purchase of books, etc. See, also. Report of the 
Commissioner of Indian Affairs, 1838, p. 496. 

Note 77.— Isaac McCoy, Annual Register of Indian Affairs, vol. 2, p. 31. 



Methodist Missions Among the Indiana in Kansas. 211 

The school was situated about one mile from the eastern border of the 
reservation. Mrs. Frank M. Green, of Whiting, Kan., a teacher at the 
Presbyterian mission near the old Kickapoo agency, at Kennekuk, in the 
'50's, says she thinks the building for this school was purchased from a Mr. 
Rising, who used it for a hotel, and that it was situated on the overland road 
to California. The Kickapoos have a small reservation in the southern part 
of Brown county at the present time. 

The report for 1861 shows an attendance of twenty— eighteen males and 
two females. The buildings were in a dilapidated state and no money had 
been contributed by the society and nothing by individual Indians; so the 
pressure of money matters and the influence of the war excitement upon 
the school had a bad effect. Religious services were conducted every Sab- 
bath and family worship during the week. The superintendent this year 
was F. M. WiUiams. 

THE PEORIA AND KASKASKIA MISSION. 

The Peorias were a small tribe south of the Shawnees, with the Weas 
and Piankeshaws on the east, the Ottawas on the west, and the Potta- 
watomies on the south. The Peorias and Kaskaskias are regarded as one 
tribe. Our church established a mission among the Peorias in 1833, and 
Rev. James H. Slavens was appointed as missionary. Rev. Nathaniel M. 
Talbot "8 was appointed in 1834, and continued to serve till 1840. The report 
for the year 1834 shows two white members and fifteen Indians. In 1836 
the mission school reported sixteen scholars, who were instructed in English 
and supported by their parents, except one meal a day furnished at the 
mission house. The missionary was Rev. Mr. Talbot, assisted by Mrs. Tal- 
bot, and a Mr. Groves who had charge of the school.''^ The mission was 
located on the northern bank of the Osage river. The buildings consisted 
of one schoolroom and one double dwelling with common outhouses. In 1837 
there were but twelve scholars, ten males and two females, who were 
taught reading, writing, and spelling, ^o In 1842 a missionary station was 
kept up under the management of Rev. N. T. Shaler and Mrs. Annie Shaler, 
daughter of Mary Rogers and Mackinaw Bauchemie, but no school. ^^ The 
mission was dropped about three years later. Mrs. Shaler had been brought 
up at the Shawnee manual-labor school, where she cared for Mrs. Johnson's 
children. She was about nineteen when she married Mr. Shaler, and lived 
about eight years. 

THE POTTAWATOMIE MISSION. 

A mission was established in this tribe in 1837, and Rev. Frederick B. 
Leach appointed missionary; in 1838, Rev. E. T. Peery, who served again in 
1839. 

The Pottawatomie reserve was south of the Peorias and Ottawas, The 
mission was located upon the site of the town of Osawatomie. Rev. G. W. 
Love was for a short time a missionary among this tribe, and had as his in- 

NOTE 78.— Nathaniel M. Talbot was born in Shelby county, Kentucky, March 17, 1805, and 
died near Arrow Rock, Mo., July, 1872. He joined the Missouri conference in 1825, and spent 
forty-seven years in the ministry. 

Note 79. — Isaac McCoy, Annual Register of Indian Affairs, vol. 2, p. 23. 

Note 80.— Report Commissioner of Indian Affairs, 1837, p. 609. 

Note 81. -Id.. 1842, p. 118. 



212 Kansas State Historical Society. 

terpreter Boashman,"^'- a native Pottawatomie, who lived many years among 
the Shawnees and married a squaw of that tribe. 

After the church was divided. Rev. Thomas H. Hurlburt was appointed 
by the Methodist Episcopal Church South to labor among the Pottawatomies. 
The following report was made to the sub-agent for the year 1846: 

"Pottawatomie, Septembers, 1846. 

"Dear Sir— Although our mission premises are located at this point, 
our labors extend to but a small part of the Pottawatomie tribe. We labor 
among the Chippewas, Peorias, Weas. and Piankeshaws. These are but 
fragments of tribes so reduced in numbers that we do not feel justified, un- 
der all the circumstances of the case, in establishing a mission for the ex- 
clusive benefit of any one of them. 

"The Chippewas are improving some temporally, and will, perhaps, 
raise enough this year for their subsistence. In their social and moral habits 
they are also improving some. There seems a disposition among them to 
merge with the Ottawas, as they are near neighbors and speak dialects of 
the same language. Indeed, the Chippewas have already disused their own 
dialect and assumed the Ottawa, as the latter far outnumbered them. 

"The Peorias, Weas and Piankeshaws speak dialects of the same lan- 
guage, and are, perhaps, nearly on a par in regard to temporal circumstances 
and social and moral habits. AH have horses, and most of them cattle and 
hogs, and generally raise suflficient corn for their consumption. Some of 
them have embraced the Christian religion, and manifest the sincerity of 
their profession by the consistency of their general deportment. There is 
but little energy manifested by them generally in regard to improving their 
condition, either temporally, socially, morally, or intellectually. 

"A few of the Pottawatomies on this creek are men of intelligence and 
worth, an honor to their tribe and to the churches to which they are attached; 
but, as it regards the greater part of them, I cannot say that I see any im- 
pr-ivement among them. 

"We have no school attached to this mission, but send all the children 
we can obtain to the Indian manual-labor school, situated in the Shawnee 
country. A good number from the above-mentioned tribes are now receiv- 
ing their education at that institution. 

"We have about fifty church members in this charge. 

Yours most respectfully, Thomas Hurlburt, 

Missionary of the Methodist Episcopal Church South." 

"Col. a. J. Vaughan, Indian Subagent." 

(Commissioner's Report, 1846, pp. 368, 369.) 

The Pottawatomies, in 1847-'48, moved to the reservation in the present 

Note 82. — Mrs. Julia Ann Stinson says that her grandmother, the wife of Henry Rogers and 
daughter of Blackfish, was a cousin of Tecumseh. Blackfish and Tecumseh's father married 
sisters. Mrs. Stinson named the town of Tecumseh for her kinsman, it being situated on her 
allotment as a member of the Shawnee tribe. Her mother, Mary Rogers, after coming west, 
married Mackinaw Bauchemie, a Frenchman, so-called because he was born at Mackinaw. One 
of her brothers was Ale.x. Bushman, whose allotment covered the site of Auburndale, the Topeka 
suburb. She was married here before he moved to Uniontown. — W. E. CoNNELLEY. 

"After my parents were married my father stopped going with the American Fur Company 
and interpreted for Mr. Johnson and joined church. After the Pottawatomies came to Kansas 
the Methodist church sent him to them as an interpreter because he could speak their language. 
My parents lived in the mission building among the Pottawatomies. It was built by the Metho- 
dist church and was a double log house, standing east and west, with a hallway between. There 
was a half-story above. My father had thirty mares, and he raised mules and sold them to the 
government at Leavenwortli. We had two colored slaves. Moses and Jennie, given by my grand- 
mother Roger.s to my mother on her marriage. The missionaries came nearly every Sunday from 
the Shawnee Mission or from Westport to preach. Bishop Soule preached there once. There 
was a government agent who lived down there — Colonel Vaughn. He had no family but his son 
Lee. Vaughn was afterwards agent for the northern Indians. His wife was dead. He had a 
house like ours, about a quarter of a mile distant, built by the government. He had negro servants, 
and raised a garden but had no farm. My mother died at the mission in February and father in 
March. 1849. Alexander and I were in school at Fayette Academy. Mis.souri, where I boarded 
with Rev. Thomas Johnson there in 1847-'48, when he returned to the Kansas mission. Alex, was 
with me in 1849, and when we heard of our mother's death we starlet! home, but traveling was so 
bad that we did not reach there until after my father had died. It was an awful place to come 
to. Our colored people were keeping house, and only Martha and William were at home. While 
we were off at school the Pottawatomies had sold out and moved away." — Mrs. Julia A. Stinson. 



Methodist Missions Among the Indians in Kansas. 213 

Pottawatomie county, Kansas. The Catholic mission school at St. Marys 
was the only mission among them, except that of the Baptists, in Shawnee 
county, which I know of, after their coming North. 

THE WYANDOT MISSION. 

The Wyandots have a history different from the other tribes among whom 
our church established missions in Kansas, in that they were, at the time 
they migrated to Kansas, quite highly civilized and quite thoroughly Chris- 
tianized. 

The genesis of Methodist missions is connected with the Wyandots, as 
the first systematized missionary work undertaken by the church was with 
this tribe, the converts being the first fruits of her labors among a pagan 
race. ^3 

The Wyandots for a long period stood politically at the head of an Indian 
federation of tribes, and were so recognized by the United States govern- 
ment in the treaties made with the Indians of the old Northwest territory. 
In the early part of the last century they occupied a large reservation in 
what is now Wyandot county, Ohio, something more than twelve by twelve 
miles in extent, and through which flowed the Sandusky river. By a treaty 
made at Upper Sandusky, Ohio, March 17, 1842, they ceded their lands to 
the United States, they being then the only Indians remaining in the state, ^-i 

In the year 1816, John Stewart, ^3 a converted mulatto, felt called to la- 
bor among them as a missionary and succeeded in making a number of con- 
verts, among whom were several chiefs. When Stewart began to labor 
among the Wyandots they were the most degraded heathen. Stewart's 
parents were free people of color, and he was born in Powhattan county, 
Virginia. He died December 17, 1823. A church and schoolhouse were 
erected and a farm opened. The boys were taught agriculture and the 
girls various domestic arts. The advancement made under our missionaries 
was something marvelous; so that when they migrated to what is now Wy- 
andotte county, Kansas, in July, 1843, they were in a high state of civiliza- 
tion, and brought with them a fully organized Methodist church of more 
than 200 members, with some local preachers and exhorters of ability and 
prominence. Among them were some splendid specimens of Indian piety 
and thrilling pulpit eloquence. One factor which contributed largely toward 
making them a superior nation was the large infusion of white blood that the 
tribe contained, and that of some rather prominent families. The Walker, 
Hicks, Zane, Armstrong and Mudeater families were all founded by cap- 
tives who were adopted into the tribe. 

Their reservation in Kansas consisted of thirty-nine sections of land, a 
little more than one township, thirty-six being purchased December 4, 1843, 
for $46,080, from the Delawares, their neighbors on the west and north, and 
their reputed nephews, and three being the gift of the same tribe. Their 
httle reservation at the confluence of the Kansas and Missouri rivers was a 
finely wooded tract of very fertile land, beautifully undulating and well 

Note 83.— History of the Wyandot Mission at Upper Sandusky, Ohio, by James Finley, 
Cincinnati, 1840: History of the Missions of the Methodist Episcopal Church, by Rev. Enoch 
Mudge, in History of American Missions, 1840, p. 529. 

Note 84.— For a connected history of this tribe, see "The Wyandot Indians," by Ray E. 
Merwin, on page 73 of this volume. The Provisional Government of Nebraska Territory and the 
Journals of William Walker, by W. E. Connelley, Lincoln, Neb., 1899, relates to the Wyandots in 
Kansas. 



214 Kansas State Historical Society. 

watered. The site was eligible and healthy, and upon it has grown up the 
Kansas metropolis. 

When the Wyandots arrived by two steamboats at their reservation, July 
28 and 31, 1843, they numbered about 700 souls. Mrs. Lucy Bigelow Arm- 
strong says 8'' that among the more than 200 church members there were nine 
class-leaders, several exhorters, and three local preachers, one of whom. 
Squire Greyeyes, a man full of faith and the Holy Ghost, and a true mis- 
sionary, was ordained deacon. The members were divided into five classes 
for religious work and instruction. The Rev. James Wheeler, who had been 
their missionary for nearly four years, accompanied them. Religious serv- 
ices were held on their journey and all their religious appointments kept up 
in Ohio were resumed on their first camping-ground in Kansas. Most of the 
Wyandots camped on the reservation from the latter part of July till the 
latter part of October, 1843, while some rented houses in and about West- 
port, Mo. Their missionary. Rev. James Wheeler, found a home at the 
Shawnee manual-labor school, and preached at the Wyandot camp nearly 
every Sabbath and often during the week. His services were required fre- 
quently, as sixty of their number died in the three months they were 
camped there. The Wyandot preachers and exhorters were always at their 
posts, so that there were always two regular preaching services on the 
Sabbath and five well-attended class-meetings in the place appointed for pub- 
lic preaching and in some of the camps. A general prayer-meeting was held 
on Wednesday evening, and on Thursday evening there was preaching by 
Squire Greyeyes or another of the Wyandots. The interpreters for Mr. 
Wheeler were Geo. I. Clark and John M. Armstrong. 

Mr. Wheeler attended the Missouri conference, held at Lexington in 
October, 1843, as the missions were a part of this conference. From there 
Mr. Wheeler returned to Ohio, expecting to return to the Wyandots in the 
spring. 

The Wyandots held their meetings regularly on the Sabbath and Wednes- 
days and Fridays during the winter of 1843- '44 in their camps, for only a 
few had houses in which to live. At the close of a meeting in January, 1844, 
Squire Greyeyes proposed that the brethren should come together, cut down 
trees, hew logs, make puncheons and clapboards, and build a church. While 
they were all busy clearing'ground, splitting rails to enclose their fields for 
the spring crops, they set apart a day now and then to work on the new 
church. So faithfully did they labor that they were able to worship in it 
in April of the same year, 1844, the preacher standing on one tier of the 
puncheon floor and the congregation sitting on the uncovered sleepers. This, 
the first church built by the Wyandots in Kansas, was a good, hewed-log 
house, about thirty by forty feet, located about three miles from the con- 
fluence of the Kansas and Missouri rivers.*" It was completed before the 
return of the missionary, Mr. Wheeler, in May of the same year, and their 
first quarterly meeting for the year was held in it the first Saturday and 
Sunday in June, at which time he baptized all the infants born to the Wyan- 

NOTE 85. — Mrs. Armstrong's account may be found in Cutler's History of Kansas, 1883, pp. 
1226-1229. 

Note 86. — Mrs. Lucy B. Armstrong, in her sketch of the Washington Ayenue Methodist 
Church, Kansas City, Kan., says this log church was built on Mr. Kerr's place, or about the 
western limit of the city — Washington and Eighteenth streets. — History, Record and Directory 
Washington Avenue Methodist Episcopal Church, Kansas City, 1893. 



Methodist Missions Among the Indians in Kansas. 215 

dots during his absence. A parsonage, built about half a mile from the 
confluence of the rivers, was nearly completed at this time. This^was a 
two-story frame house, costing about $1500, being a part of the proceeds of 
the mission farm improvements at Upper Sandusky, Ohio, one result of the 
labors of the old missionaries Finley, Gilruth, Bigelow, and their successors. 
This parsonage, Mrs. Armstrong says, was unjustly alienated from the 
Methodist Episcopal church by the Wyandot treaty of 1855, the Manypenny 
treaty. The above description is largely gathered from the reminiscences of 
Mrs. Lucy Bigelow Armstrong. 

During Mr. Wheeler's absence, the missionaries from the Shawnee, 
Delaware and Kickapoo missions preached to the Wyandots once in two 
weeks, alternately— Rev. J. C. Berryman, superintendent of the manual- 
labor school; Rev. Learner B. Stateler, missionary to the Shawnees; E. T. 
and J. Thompson Peery, of the Delawares; and N. M. Talbot, of the Kicka- 
poos. 

The slavery question, which rent the Methodist Episcopal church asun- 
der in 1845, assumed a more acute form among the Wyandots than with 
any of the other tribes among which our church established her missions in 
Kansas. They had just recently moved from the northern part of Ohio, a 
free state, and had not been affected by pro-slavery influences, as the other 
Kansas missions had been, by reason of their belonging to the Missouri con- 
ference and served by Southern and pro-slavery sympathizers. 

Rev. James Wheeler returned to Ohio in May, 1846. From the journal 
of Wm. Walker, we are able to obtain the exact date; for, under date of 
May 4, 1846, he makes record as follows: "The deacon packing up his ef- 
fects for a move to Ohio"; and under date of May 5, "At eleven o'clock 
the deacon and his family bade adieu to the Wyandots and embarked on 
board the ' Radnor ' with sorrowful hearts. May they have a pleasant and 
prosperous voyage." May 9, " E. T. Peery's family, successors of J. W., 
moved over to-day. ' ' 

The Wyandots were, by the removal of Mr. Wheeler, deprived of their 
spiritual leader. All about them were strong pro-slavery influences. About 
this time the Wyandots held an official meeting, s" and resolved that they 
would "not receive a missionary from the church south of the line" di- 
viding the new organization from the Methodist Episcopal church, according 
to the proposed plan of separation. 

The Rev. E. T. Peery was appointed missionary to the Wyandots from 
1845 to October, 1848. Mr. Peery represented himself to the Wyandots as 
being opposed to slavery, but finally went with the majority of the mission- 
aries into the Church South. In October, 1846, when the United States 
government paid the Wyandots for the improvements on their Ohio homes, 
Mr. Peery proposed in an official meeting that they should build a larger 
and better church, and more convenient to the parsonage, 'than the log 
church. James Big Tree, who was a licensed exhorter in the church, op- 
posed it, saying that the Church South would claim it, but Mr. Peery over- 
ruled the objection, saying that the records were kept in the name of the 
Methodist Episcopal church, and that it was well known that the Wyandots 
were opposed to the new organization (Methodist Episcopal Church South), 
and would adhere to the old organization, or a majority, at least, would. 

Note 87.— Cutler's History of Kansas, p. 1228. 



216 



Kansas State Historical Society. 




A good brick building, 
fifty by thirty-five feet, 
with a tb a s e m e n t, was 
erected, and occupied No- 
vember 1, 1874. «» The funds 
were raised mostly by pri- 
vate subscriptions among 
the people. The organiza- 
tion at this time numbered 
240 members— two native 
preachers and four exhort- 
ers. The building, it ap- 
peal's, was not finished till 
several years later, but all 
the services were now held 
in this church, but, as here- 
tofore, class- and prayer- 
meetings in private houses 
in different neighborhoods, 
largely through the labors 
of Greyeyes. 

The new brick meeting- 
house proved to be a bone 
of contention between the 
opposing factions. 

The journals of Wm. 
Walker, published by Wm. 
E. Connelley in his interest- 
ing volume "Wm. Walker 
and the Provisional Government of Nebraska Territory, " gives us an insight 
into the contest waged so bitterly by the opposing factions, and which re- 
sulted in the burning of both the old log church and the new brick church in 
the Wyandot Nation. ^^ Due allowance must be made for Governor Walker's 
bias toward the pro-slavery party and the M. E. Church South. He was a 

Note 88. — Mrs. Armstrong says this brick church was one-half mile from town, on the 
Greenwood tract, supposed to be about Tenth street and Freeman avenue, Kansas City, Kan. 

Note 89. — William E. Connelly writes, under date of Topeka. October 1, 1905, as follows : 

My Dear Brother Lutz — I received your manuscript, and read it with much pleasure and 
profit. It contains much that I did not know in relation to the missions other than that to the 
Wyandots. It is very valuable. I was at a loss to know where to find many things about the 
Shawnees ; you have it all here. I send you herewith copies of a few documents which I have in 
my collection. I have hundreds of them on this church division in the Wyandot nation, but these 
will be sufficient for this paper. 

The date of the burning: of the church buildings is April 8. 1856. I find this in the sketch of 
the church left by Aunt Lucy B. Armstrong. I have the manuscript, and it is published in the 
directory of the Washington Avenue Methodist Episcopal Church for 1893. The entry is as fol- 
lows: "On the night of April 8. 18.56, both church buildings were burned to the ground by in- 
cendiaries." The churches were burned by some young men who did not belong to any church 
organization. The Church South had no organization in the nation at that time. This may seem 
a strange statement to make, but I quote you the following document : 

"Wyandott, November 25, 1854. 

"The undersigned, oflficial members of the Methodist Episcopal Church South, for ourselves 
and the membership, would respectfully notify the Rev. A. Monroe, superintendent of the Kan- 
sas district, that, in view of the present condition of the charge in this place — a condition that 
may be called anything but prosperous — have deliberately determined upon a union of the two 
societies, under the pastoral charge of the Methodist Episcopal church. 

The official and private members have for the past two years observed with pain and deep 
regret a continual decline in the spiritual condition of this society. 

"The cause, in part, of the falling-off may be attributed to the loss by death of many of our 



SILAS ARMSTRONG, 
Wyandot chief and interpreter. 



Methodist Missions Among the Indians in Kansas. 217 

slaveholder on a small scale. Mr. Connelley says that "Governor Walker 
was extremely bitter, intolerant and unjust in his attitude toward the M. 
E. church, although he did not belong to the Church South, and his wife and 
daughter Martha belonged to the M. E. church." Under date of September 
1, 1848, Governor Walker says : 

"Pursuant to notice, the nation assembled at the camp-ground, and at 
twelve o'clock proceeded to organize by the appointment of James Washing- 
ton, president, and John Hicks, sen'r, vice-president, and W. Walker, sec- 
retary. The object [of the convention] being to determine whether the 
nation will declare for the Southern division of the M. E. church or the 
Northern. After an animated discussion by S. Armstrong, W. Walker, 
M. R. Walker, J. D. Brown, F. A. Hicks, David Young and others in favor 
of the South, and J. M. Armstrong, G. I. Clark, Squire Greyeyes in favor 
of the North, a preamble and resolution [were] adopted by which the nation 
declared for the South." 

September 5. — "Writing an appeal to the Ohio conference." 

September 7. — "To-day the church members were to be assembled at the 
new brick church to vote on the question 'North or South,' but unfortu- 
nately the members refused to attend, and so ended the affair. A rather 
severe rebuke to the agitators." 

October 21. — " Wrote an address to the Indian Mission conference for the 
official members. ... In the evening the notorious Bishop Andrews 
[Andrew] came over. Called upon him at the deacon's. Found him sociable 
and affable— a real, burly Georgian." 

Sunday, October 22. — "Attended church and heard the bishop preach. 
In the afternoon he dined with us." 

October 23. — "A preacher, it seems, is appointed by the Ohio conference 
to come in here and sneak about like a night burglar or incendiary to do 
harm and not good. What is it that religious fanaticism will not do? The 
seceders have stolen the church records." 

October 24. — "At night a number of our friends came and stayed till a 
late hour discussing various matters. Determined to call in the authority of 
the Nation and the Indian Agent, to protect their rights from the seceders. " 

Sunday, October 29. — "Went to Church, and to our astonishment found 
the presiding Elder of the Quasi Northern District, a Mr. Still ; the Deacon, 
as a matter of Grace, asked him to preach, which he attempted to do; 
' Sorter ' preached. The Church was then divided. South from the North. 
Meeting appointed by the Northerners for evening." 

old, experienced and zealous members and fathers in the church, and no accessions to supply 
these losses. 

"For the last two years we have thought that the church of our choice looked upon this 
charge as a burden, especially by this conference, judging from the character of the ministerial 
supply afforded us. We have been denied the benefit and privilege of the general itinerant sys- 
tem of the church — a system which past experience demonstrated to be eminently useful and 
successful with our people. 

" No one could, previous to the commencement of this conference year, doubt our devotion 
and loyalty to the Methodist Episcopal Church South. A crisis has arrived, and it must be met, 
and how to meet it was asked ; but no satisfactory response was made — no effectual remedy was 
proposed. 

" To our statements and suggestions answers were returned better calculated to silence than 
to satisfy us. 

"To us, as a society, the alternative was presented, either spiritual death or a change, and 
the stern necessity of the case determined us to choose the latter. 

" We dissolve our connection with the Church South from a deep sense of duty. We part in 
peace, and shall carry with us feelings of high regard, esteem and Christian love for our brethren. 

"This union will render it obviously necessary to have the use of the brick church as well as 
the parsonage. 

' The necessary arrangement will be made for a reimbursement to your church of its out- 
lay in money in the erection of the church building." 

There are no names to the above document, and it is evidently but the first draft. It is in 
the handwriting of Governor Walker, and he evidently drew up the articles. I found this docu- 
ment among his papers. There is, on the same sheet of paper, the following, which is in the 
handwriting of Governor Walker, and. being on the same sheet, would make it certain that both 
papers are but the first drafts of the papers signed and acted upon : 

"The undersigned, official members of the Methodist Episcopal church in Wyandott, would 
respectfully state that the brethren whose names are signed to the above article made overtures 
to us for the purpose mentioned therein. 

"We met and had a full, free and unreserved conference, and the result was the adoption of 



218 Kansas State Historical Society. 

October 30. — "At candle-light the Wyandott Chiefs met at our domicile 
and prepared a communication to the Agent, asking the interposition of the 
Government to keep out of our territory those reverend disturbers of the 
Nation." 

November 28. — " Rev. J. Thompson Peerey, our newly appointed mis- 
sionary, moved into the parsonage." 

November 30. — "To-night will be held the first official meeting of the 
Church South under the administration of Rev. J. T. Peerey." 

December 1. — "Called upon Mr. Peerey and presiding elder Stateler. 
. . . Mr. James Gurley, the preacher sent by the Ohio annual conference 
to preach abolitionism to the Wyandotts, has just arrived. So I suppose we 
are to have religious dissensions in full fruition." 

December 2. — "Mr. Gurley called upon us and defended his position. If 
he follows the instructions received from Bishop Morris we shall not have 
much trouble, for he will 'gather up his awls ' and pull out." 

Sunday, December 3. — "Must go to the Synagogue and hear Mr. Gurley 

a resolution for a union of the two societies, as stated in their communication. We receive them 
as brethren and sisters beloved. 

" With this complaint of a want of proper attention towards them from your conference, we 
have nothing to say ; on the contrary, be assured of our best wishes and fraternal regard for our 
brethren of the Methodist Episcopal Church South, while we invoke the blessing of the Great 
Head of the Church upon this union." 

When the Methodist Episcopal Church South again effected an organization in the nation I 
have not had time to ascertain. But it could not have been very soon after this union ; the war 
on the border began about that time, and things were very unsettled. I think this Kansas war 
had more to do with the burning of the church buildings than any religious controversy which 
could have existed at that time. 

As confirmatory of the truthfulness of the above documents, I will quote from the paper of 
Aunt Lucy, referred to before : 

"With Doctor Goode as superintendent came the Rev. J. H. Dennis as missionary. Soon 
after their arrival twelve of the members who had joined the Church South returned to the old 
church. Among the number were Matthew Mudeater. a Wyandot chief, and Mrs. Hannah, wife 
of William Walker, who afterwards became provisional governor of Kansas." 

I am satisfied that Mrs. Hannah Walker never united with the Church South nor did her 
daughter Martha. Jesse Garrett, Esq., who married Martha, told me that his wife and Mrs. 
Walker always remained in the old church, but the feeling was so bitter that they could not at- 
tend its services, and that they did attend the services of the Church South. 

Another document, showing that the succession has always remained in the Methodist Epis- 
copal church, is as follows (I do not know the handwriting, but I secured the paper from a 
daughter of Aunt Lucy): 
"State of Missouri, County op Jackson, to wit: 

" Edward Peery, of the county aforesaid, being duly sworn, says that he was Missionary to 
the Wyandot Indians in Kansas, then Indian Territory, from June, 1846, to October, 1848; that 
though the said affiant was in connection with the Methodist Church South at that time, yet the 
records of all the official meetings of the Church among the Wyandots during that time were in 
the name of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and the licenses of the Local Preachers and Ex- 
horters were renewed quarterly as emenating from the Quarterly Conference of the Methodist 
Episcopal Church ; that at a meeting of the official members of the Church among the Wyandotts 
in May, 1846, it was resolved, that the Church among the Wyandotts would not submit to the 
jurisdiction of the Church South. 

"Said affiant further states, that at another official meeting, held in the fall of 1846. it was 
decided to build a good brick Church, and subscription papers for building a Methodist Church 
among the Wyandotts were circulated for that purpose, and the Wyandotts themselves con- 
tributed the most of the Money raised, the Wyandott Council donating Five Hundred dollars out 
of the National Annuity ; that the Church was built in pursuance of the aforesaid decision of the 
official members, and ready for occupancy in November. 1847; that regular religious services 
were held in it, and the records of the Church were still kept in the name of the Methodist Epis- 
copal Church, as heretofore stated, until the fall of 1848, when the membership was divided, a 
large majority of the members adhering to the Methodist Episcopal Church ; that after the or- 
ganization of Kansas Territory a State of Lawlessness and disorder prevailed along the border, 
and much property was destroyed, and the aforesaid Brick Church was burned in April, 1856 ; 
saidChurch was worth at the time of its destruction three thousand dollars. 

" Said affiant further states, that in 1844 a Parsonage was built for the use of the Missionary 
of the Methodist Episcopal Church to the Wyandotts, costing fifteen hundred dollars, said money 
being a part the proceeds of the Mission Farm at Upper Sandusky, Ohio, which Farm was made 
by the Missionary Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church ; that the recognition of the afore- 
said parsonage as belonging to the Church South by the Treaty of January 31st. 1855, was unjust, 
since the money used in building said Parsonage really belonged to the Methodist Episcopal 
Church, and further says not." 
•■Mrs. Lucy Armstrong. Wyandott, Kansas: " Kansas City. Mo., Feb. 15th. 1864. 

" Dear Sister in Christ— I went out to see Bro. Peery two or three times, but did not meet 
with him ; he being absent at the time. I sent the paper to him, however, by his son. which he 
examined, and left word with his wife that he could endorse it all except that part which says. 
'a large majority adhering to the M. E. Church.' upon this point he is not so clear. I am sorry 
that I did not go to see Bro. Peery myself. I return the paper and also the dollar handed to me 
by Bro. Ham. Yours in Christ, Alfred H. Powell." 



Methodist Missions Among the Indians in Kansas. 219 

"* hold forth. ' He held forth. Went to Church at early candle-lighting and 
heard the preacher in charge, J. T. Peerey. " 

January 30, 1849. — "Went to attend the session of the Council, in order 
to report the result of the meeting, on the 19th, of the non-professing mem- 
bers, who decided that both missionaries should be expelled from the na- 
tion. ^^ Made my report, and closed with a speech, defining our position, 
and closed with a solemn warning to the Northern faction." 

February 10. — "To-day is the time appointed for the Northern quarterly 
meeting. But will it be held? " 

July 15. — "Dr. Hewitt moved to-day from Wyandott Territory to give 
place to his successor. 'Sic transit gloria mundi."' — Connelley's Provi- 
sional Government, p. 260. 

It is in order now to narrate a little more particularly the events which 
led to Doctor Hewitt's moving from the territory, as recorded in the entry 
of Governor Walker's journal, just quoted. This was the culmination of the 
troubles between the Methodist Episcopal church and the Methodist Episco- 
pal Church South. 

Dr. Richard Hewitt was sub-Indian agent for the Wyandots, and a 
somewhat intense slavery propagandist. The report of Doctor Hewitt to the 
commissioner of Indian affairs for 1848 will show his attitude toward the 
opposition. We must take into consideration the fact that great pressure 
was brought to bear upon the agent by the Southern faction. In his report 
for 1848 he says: 

"During the past summer some dissension has existed among the mem- 
bers of the church arising out of the division of the Methodist Episcopal 
church, which took place four years ago, by which a line of separation sepa- 
rating the slaveholding from the non-slaveholding territories was agreed 
upon by the general conference of that church. By this prudential arrange- 
ment all the Indian missions west of the states of Missouri and Arkansas, 
etc., under the patronage of that church were thrown into the Southern di- 
vision and under the pastoral care of the Methodist Episcopal Church South. 
By the history of this church arrangement or ecclesiastical legislation, it 
appears that at the last quadrennial session, held in May last, the Northern 
division in its separate capacity abrogated and annulled the plan of separa- 
tion mutually agreed upon four years previous, and intend to invade the 
territory of the former. 

"From information on which I can rely, it appears that certain clergy- 
men in Ohio, with a view of the furtherance of their plans, have been cor- 
responding with such Wyandotts as they are acquainted with and could be 
influenced. These communications are doubtless well seasoned with abo- 
litionism, with a view of stirring up disaffection and discord among the 
people, and, through them, among the Delawares, Shawnees, and Kickapoos, 
among which the Southern division has missionary establishments; this move- 
ment has not been without its effects, especially among the Wyandots, who 
are, to a limited extent, slaveholders themselves, in producing strife and 
contention, not among the membership only, but through the nation gener- 
ally. 

"A memorial was forwarded, not long since, by the disaffected members, 
addressed to the Ohio annual conference, praying the appointment of a 
preacher from that body to reside among them as missionary. 

"A protest addressed to the same body was shortly afterwards adopted 
and forwarded by the nation, protesting against any interference in their 
affairs, and warning that body of the disastrous consequences that might 
follow them, from such agitations which would grow out of the stationing 
of a preacher from the North, when they were already supplied by the Indian 
Mission conference. 

Note 90, — Wm. E. Connelley says : "This action resulted in the expulsion of the missionary 
of the Methodist Episcopal church. The missionary of the Methodist Episcopal Church South 
was not molested." 



220 Kansas State Historical Society. 

"The whole movement has no doubt originated in abolitionism, which 
seldom hesitates at the means to accomplish its purpose. 

"Should a preacher be sent here from the North (Ohio) contrary to the 
wishes of the nation, and we have no other authority than that given him 
by that conference, and he present himself, I shall be compelled (in this 
novel case), in the absence of special instructions, to enforce the 'inter- 
course laws. ' however unpleasant it may be to my feelings. 

"Notwithstanding those engaged in the getting up of this unpleasant 
state of things act with great energy (an energy and perseverance worthy 
of a better cause) and no little bitterness of feeling, I am bound in candor 
to believe that their actions are prompted by an honest though a misguided 
zeal. Their course of conduct proves conclusively to my mind that it is far 
easier to reason men intoerror than out of it. — Richard Hewitt, Sub-agent." 

( Report United States Commissioner of Indian Affairs, 1848, pp. 486, 487.) 

We have been unable to gather from Governor Walker's journal, or from 
any other source, anything concerning the particulars of the arrest of Rev. 
Mr. Gurley and his expulsion from the nation. The matter was taken up at 
the annual meeting of the bishops of the Methodist Episcopal church, in 
their session at Newark, N. J., in April, 1849. After some consultation 
concerning our missions in the Missouri territory, Bishop Morris was ap- 
pointed to draft a memorial to the Department of the Interior, at Washing- 
ton, in relation to the expulsion of Rev. James Gurley from '■'^t Wyandot 
nation. Following are the material portions of the document: 

"The Wyandot Indians, formerly of Sandusky, Ohio, now ' the terri- 
tory west of Missouri, have for thirty years past been regu a ly supplied 
with missionaries from our church, except a short interval since the or- 
ganization of the Methodist Episcopal Church South. When the Wyandots 
removed from Ohio to their present home, our missionary. Rev. J. Wheeler, 
who had been their pastor for years, accompanied them and remained with 
them until 1846, when, the Indian Mission conference having adhered to the 
Methodist Episcopal Church South, he returned to his own conference in 
Ohio. The Wyandots were much dissatisfied with their new position in 
church affairs, and gave notice to the Church South that they would look to 
us for supplies of ministers, and accordingly, in 1848, sent a petition to the 
Ohio conference for a missionary. This was signed by the official and lead- 
ing men of the society, as is usual in such cases. Rev. James Gurley, a 
minister long and favorably known among us, was selected, appointed, and 
sent, with a letter of instruction from T. A. Morris. That letter was ob- 
tained from Mr. Gurley by Major Cummins, United States agent near Fort 
Leavenworth, and, so far as we know, is still in his hands; otherwise we 
would herewith forward to you the original. After Mr. Gurley's arrival 
at Wyandot, the official members of our church thei-e, in a communication to 
T. A. Morris, expressed their gratitude and pleasure on his reception among 
them, and having heard of an idle and false rumor of an intention on our 
part to recall him, remonstrated strongly against in. Subsequently, how- 
ever. Doctor Hewitt, subagent of the Wyandot nation, had Mr. Gurley ar- 
rested, and ordered him to leave the nation. One fact to which we beg 
leave to call your special attention is, that no exception to the moral. Chris- 
tian or ministerial character or conduct of Mr. Gurley was alleged, even by 
Doctor Hewitt, as a reason for expelling him from the nation, n^r had Mr. 
Gurley any personal difficulty with any individual there; yet h yas driven 
off, to the great grief of the Christian society over which he /as pastor, 
consisting of a large majority of the church-members in the WyK-^iot nation. 

"Now, what we wish is, to be informed whether the act of Doctor Hewitt 
was authorized and sanctioned by the government, or merely an assumption 
of power on his part. If the latter, we respectfully ask that the abuse of 
the power may be corrected in such way as the department may deem proper, 
the wrong redressed, and our constitutional rights secured. We know of no 
reason why our missionaries should be excluded from the Indian Territory,, 
while the missionaries of other churches are tolerated and protected. ' ' 



Methodist Missions Among the Indians in Kansas. 221 

This communication, signed 
by all the bishops, was duly 
forwarded to Hon. Thos. Ew- 
ing, secretary of the interior. 
It caused the speedy removal 
from office of Doctor Hewitt, 
sub-agent at Wyandot, and the 
restoration of our privileges as 
a church in the Indian Terri- 
tory. 

It appears, from the journals 
of Governor Walker, that both 
the church buildings were 
standing as late as 1851, for he 
records: 

"November 2. —Went in 
company with Martha [ his 
daughter] to the Northern 
Quarterly Meeting. Heard a 
poor sermon from the Presiding 
Elder [Geo. W. Roberts]. Rev. 
L. B. Stateler preached at the 
Brick Church. 

"Sunday, 16.— Must go [to] 
the Synagogue to hear Mr. 
Scarritt preach, this being his 
day to preach at the Brick 
Church. A rather thin congre- 
gation. 

' 'April 10, 1852. - In the even- 
ing Rev. Mr. Barker, Mr. Scar- 
ritt's successor, called upon us 
and spent some time with us. " 

The preachers for the Methodist Episcopal Church South for the confer- 
ence year 1851-'52 were Revs. Nathan Scarritt and D. D. Doffelmeyer. 
They served the Shawnee, Delaware and Wyandot missions. 

One feature of the old-time Methodism was the camp-meeting. The 
Wyandots held them in the forests of Ohio in the early days, and introduced 
them into Ksnsas. They were held annually by the Shawnees, Delawares, 
and Wyandots. Governor Walker's journals give us a brief description of 
one of these great gatherings in the forests: 

'" Friday, September 3, 1852. —Our folks all in a bustle, house upside down, 
moving to the Camp ground cooking utensils, provisions. Bed clothes, etc. In 
the evening I went to the consecrated ground and found a very comfort- 
able shantee erected. 

"Sunday, September 5. —At the Camp ground. The great Conch shell'Ji 
was Sounded as a Signal to rise from our beds and prepare for morning devo- 
tions and breakfast. At 11 o'clock A. M. a large Congregation assembled 
under the Arbor prepared for the occasion, and was addressed by a Rev. Mr. 
Love, of St. Louis, in a sermon of great eloquence and ability. . . . Devo- 
tional exercises were continued through the day and till a late hour in the 
night. Several new members were received into the Church. 

" September 19. — Engaged in writing a long epistle to the Northern Bishop 




1. MONONCUE. 



2. BETWEEN-THE-LOGS. 



Two noted Wyandot chiefs and Methodist 
preachers. 



Note 91.— The conch-shell referred to above is in the possession of Wm. E. Connelley. 
was used by the Wyandots for centuries. 



222 



Kansas S((tte Historical Society. 




REV. L. B. STATELER. 

who is to preside at the Northern Conference in St. Louis, upon their Mis- 
sionary operations among the Indians. 

" September 24. — Finished my letter to the Bishop, making sixteen pages, 
in which I have attempted to show up these canting Methodist Abolitionists 
in their true colors. The preachers of the Northern Methodist Church prowl- 
ing around on this frontier are the most contemptible, hypocritical, canting 
set of fellows that ever disgraced Christianity. 

"November 19. — I learned on yesterday that Doctor Clipper [M. T. 
Klepper], the Northern Preacher, and his lady arrived on Tuesday last. 
He succeeds Rev. James Witten"- as preacher in charge of the pitiful fac- 
tion here. 



Note 92. — Rev. James Witten was born in Tazewell county. Virginia, about 1790. His 
mother wa.s a Laird and grandniece of Lord Baltimore. He was also a kinsman of Wm. Cecil 
Price, of Springfield. Mo., his mother being a Cecil. At about the age "f twenty-two he entered 
the United States service, under General Jackson, in the Creek Indian and New Orleans cam- 



Methodist Missions Among the-Indians in Kansas. 223 





MRS. MELINDA STATELER. 

"January 11, 1853. — Drew up a petition to the Council praying that body 
to restrain Dr. Chpper from opening a Missionary Estabhshment in our 
Territory as unnecessary and useless. 

"January 19. — Wrote to Maj. Moseley at Sarcoxie, upon matters apper- 
taining to the Agency, especially about the movements of the Northern 
Missionary." 

In October, 1853, Bishop Morris, who presided over a conference at New- 



paifrns. He was admitted on trial in the Tennessee conference held at Franklin. October 30, 1817, 
in the class with Rev. Jesse Greene, who afterward became a prominent figure in the work 
among the Indian tribes in Kansas. In 1822 he located, and the following year was married to 
Miss Eliza Ewing, of Washington county, Virginia. In 1847 he moved to northwest Missouri, 
where he entered the active work in the Methodist Episcopal church. He had three brothers, 
John W., Wm. A., and Thomas, all of whom were Methodist ministers, the two former serving 
as local preachers Thomas was one of the founders of Portland, Ore. His ( Jas. Witten's) 
death occurred about 1870. His wife's father was a man of wealth and a slaveholder. Mr. Wit- 
ten was opposed to slavery, and his remaining in the Methodist Episcopal church at the time of 
the division was the cause of alienating many of his friends and relatives who were slaveholders. 



224 Kansas State Historical Society. 

ark, Mo., made a hasty visit to the Wyandot mission in company with Rev. 
J. M. Chivington,"-' missionary to the Wyandots, on his way to attend the 
Arkansas conference, at Fayetteville. The journey from northwest Missouri 
was made in a stage wagon. They crossed the Missouri river at Weston 
ferry and entered Nebraska territory, passing Fort Leavenworth, and trav- 
ehng through the lands of the Stockbridge Indians. •'< On Friday, October 
14, they reached Wyandotte and visited Mrs. Lucy Bigelow Armstrong, whom 
they found comfortably living in a good house, supporting herself in part by 
teaching. On Saturday they went to the mission premises, occupied by 
Doctor Klepper, and remained with him over the Sabbath. The bishop made 
his first effort at public speaking through an interpreter on Sunday, and was 
not much pleased with the method. 

The last appointment made by the Methodist Episcopal church to the 
Wyandots as a mission was in 1855. "Delaware and Wyandot mission, J. 
H. Dennis, Charles Ketchum,^' and one supply." This year the Wyandots 
made a treaty by which they dissolved their tribal relations, accepted the 
allotment of the lands in severalty, and became citizens of the United 
States. The old mission developed into the Washington Avenue Methodist 
Episcopal Church, and the mission of the Methodist Episcopal Church South 
also grew into a fine city church of that denomination. 

There were a number of men belonging to the Wyandots who took an 
active part in our missionary operations and who deserve a brief notice. 
Rev. Wm. H. Goode, who resided among them, has recorded brief notices in 
his "Outposts of Zion, " of some of the more prominent men of this tribe. 
Of Squire Greyeyes he writes as follows : 

"Squire Greyeyes, a native preacher, was the model man of his tribe. 
He was one of the early fruits of Finley's labors, and lived to a good old age; 
small in stature; quick and active in his movements; spirited, but mild and 
gentle in his temper; scrupulously neat in his person and zealous in his piety 
and exemplary in his walk, he was, upon the whole, one of the noblest speci- 
mens of Indian character. No white missionary ever could move and melt 
and sway the Wyandots as he did. The missionaries understood this, and 
when direct effect was intended they placed him in the front. Still he was 
unassuming, and seemed highly to appreciate and enjoy the labors of the 
missionaries through the interpreters, as his flowing tears would often tes- 
tify. His wife, considei'ably his junior, was neat and pious and his home 
comfortable. I loved to visit him, though he could converse but little. He 
rarely attempted English." 

William E. Connelley says he was the son of Doctor Greyeyes, who 
was the son of a British army officer who married a Wyandot girl at De- 
troit during the war of the revolution. Squire Greyeyes was a Methodist 
preacher, converted at the old Wyandot mission in Ohio, under the labors of 
Rev. Jas. B. Finley, who was the leading man connected with that mission. 
In 1826 Greyeyes was a class-leader there. His son, John W. Greyeyes, 
was educated at the mission in Kansas and at Kenyon College, Gambler, 
Ohio, where he graduated. He became a successful lawyer. 

George I. Clarke was a man of influence among the Wyandots, and was 

Note 93.— Goode's Ouposts of Zion, pp. 249, 252; United States Special Commissioner on 
Indian Tribes, Report of B. F. Wade, 1867; Official Records, War of the Rebellion, vol. 41, pt. 1, 
p. 948. 

Note 94.— For Kansas reservation of Stockbridges, a family of New York Indians, in south- 
ern part of the territory, see Kansas Historical Collections, vol. 8, p. 83. 

Note 95.— Sketch of Charles Ketchum, in Goode's Outposts of Zion. p. 296. 



Methodist Missions Among the Indians in Kansas. 225 

elected head chief. He was born June 10, 1802, and died June 25, 1858. He 
belonged to the faction that opposed slavery and adhered to the old church. 
Mr. Goode has this to say of him : 

"George I. Clark, a local preacher, was my near neighbor. He was a 
half-breed of good sense, gentle manners, consistent piety. He spoke Eng- 
lish tolerably well, and was understood to render English correctly into 
Wyandot. He was our stated interpreter. I have enjoyed many pleasant 
opportunities of preaching through him. He had a good farm and com- 
fortable residence near where Quindaro now stands. ' ' 

Another prominent man of the tribe was John Hicks, who was the last of 
the hereditary chiefs of the Wyandot nation. He died February 14, 1853, 
being upwards of eighty years of age. He was one of the first converts 
at the old mission in Ohio in 1819, and was a member in the church thirty- 
five years. He was licensed as an exhorter in the church. He affiliated 
with the Church South. His son, Francis A. Hicks, was also a man of note 
in the tribe. He was born in 1800 and died in 1855. He was head chief 
of the Wyandots. He first sided with the Church South and took part in the 
expulsion of the missionary of the Methodist Episcopal church, Mr. Gurley. 
He afterward returned to the Methodist Episcopal church. His daughter 
was educated at the Cincinnati Wesleyan Female College. 

John M. Armstrong, a half-breed, was the leader of the Wyandots who 
refused to go with the Southern faction in the division. His father, Robert 
Armstrong, was captured by Wyandots and Senecas on the Alleghany river 
in 1783. He married Sarah Zane. J. M, Armstrong married Lucy Bige- 
low,^** daughter of Rev. Russell Bigelow, an eloquent pioneer preacher of 
Ohio, and who, as the presiding elder of the Portland district in Ohio, was 
also superintendent of the Wyandot mission in 1829-'30. Lucy Bigelow 
Armstrong died January 1, 1892, aged seventy-three years. Mr. Armstrong 
was an attorney at law, and was associated for some time with Hon. John 
Sherman, of Mansfield, Ohio, where he died April 11, 1852, while on his way 
to Washington. For fuller sketches of the Armstrong and Hicks families, 
see Connelly's "Provisional Government." 

LIST OF APPOINTMENTS 

To the Indian missions of the Methodist church, from 1830 to 1860 (from the 

general minutes of the church) : 

Number in society. 
White. Colored, Indians. 

1830. Kansas or Kaw mission, William Johnson 

Shawnee Mission, Thomas Johnson .... 

1831. Presiding elder and superintendent Kansas mis- 

sions, Jos. Edmundson: 
Kansas missions,"' Thomas Johnson, William 

Johnson 9 31 

1832. Indian Mission district, superintendent, Thomas 

Johnson: 
Shawnee Mission and school, Thomas Johnson, 

Edward T. Peery 

Note 96. — Lucy B. Armstrong-, the widow of John Mclntyre Armstrong, was the mother of 
five children. Russell Bigelow Armstrong, her son, was born at Westport, November 20, 1844, 
and died June 7. 1901. He served in the legislature of 1879. William R. Armstrong, a civil en- 
gineer connected with the Kansas City, Mexico & Orient railroad, is a grandson. ,_, _j 

Note 97.— Rev. JoabSpencer, of Slater, Mo., says: "This is according to the minutes, but it 
should read, 'Shawnee and Kanzas missions, Thomas Johnson and Wm. Johnson.' " 

-15 



226 



Kansas State Historical Society. 



Number in society. 
Wh He. Colored. Indiana. 



1832. 



1833. 



1834. 



1835. 



1836. 



1837. 



1838. 



Delaware mission and school, William Johnson, 

Thomas B. Markham 

Iowa and Sac mission and school, to be supplied, 

Peoria mission and school, James H. Slavens 

Indian Mission district, superintendent, Thomas 

Johnson: 
Shawnee Mission and school, William Johnson, 5 

Delaware mission and school, E. T. Peery 5 

Peoria mission and school, N. M. Talbot 

Kickapoo mission and school, J. C. Berryman 

North Indian Mission district, superintendent. 

Thomas Johnson: 

Shawnee Mission and school, William Johnson, 

Delaware mission and school, E. T. Peery 7 

Peoria mission and school, N. M. Talbot 2 

Kickapoo mission and school, J. C. Berryman, 

J. Monroe 2 

North Indian Mission district, superintendent, 

Thomas Johnson: 

Shawnee Mission, William Ketron 

Delaware mission and school, E. T. Peery 

Peoria mission and school, N. M. Talbot 

Kickapoo mission and school, J. C. Berryman, 
Kansas mission and school, William Johnson. . . 
Indian Mission district, superintendent, Thomas 

Johnson: 

Shawnee Mission, to be supplied 

Delaware mission, E. T. Peery 

Peoria mission, N. M. Talbot 

Kickapoo mission, J. C. Berryman 

Kansas mission, William Johnson 

Indian Mission district, superintendent, Thomas 

Johnson: 
Shawnee Mission, Thomas Johnson, Lorenzo 

Waugh 10 

Delaware mission. Learner B. Stateler 

Peoria mission, N. M. Talbot, Reuben Aldridge, 4 
Kickapoo mission, J. C. Berryman, David Kin- 
near 5 

Kansas mission, William Johnson 3 

Pottawatomie mission, Frederick B. Leach 

Indian Mission district, superintendent, Thomas 

Johnson: 
Shawnee Mission, Thomas Johnson, Lorenzo 

Waugh 8 

Delaware mission, L. B. Stateler, Abraham 

Millice 2 

Peoria, N. M. Talbot, John Y. Porter 3 

Kickapoo, J. C. Berryman, David Kinnear 6 



40 
27 



85 
50 
15 

230 



9 


102 


5 


70 


2 


26 


2 


230 


6 


80 


4 


86 


4 


42 


3 


218 


1 


1 



92 
90 
55 

264 
1 



97 

74 

40 

161 



Methodist Missions Among the Indians in Kansas. 227 



1838. Kansas, William Johnson, John W. Dole 

Pottawatomie, E. T. Peery 

1839. Indian Mission district, superintendent, Thomas 

Johnson: 

Shawnee, Thomas Johnson 

Indian manual-labor school, Wesley Browning, 

D. Kinnear 

Delaware, L. B. Stateler 

Kickapoo, J. C. Berryman 

Peoria, N. M. Talbot 

Kansas, Wm. Johnson 

Pottawatomie, E. T. Peery 

1840. Indian Mission district, superintendent, Thos. 

Johnson: 

Shawnee, L. B. Stateler 

Indian manual-labor school, D. Kinnear 

Delaware, Edward T. Peery 

Kickapoo, Jerome C. Berryman 

Peoria and Pottawatomie, Nathaniel M. Talbot, 
Kansas, Wm. Johnson 

1841. Wm. Johnson, superintendent: 

Shawnee, L. B. Stateler 

Indian manual-labor school, J. C. Berryman 

Delaware, Edward T. Peery 

Kickapoo, N. M. Talbot 

Peoria and Pottawatomie, to be supplied 

Kansas, Wm. Johnson 

1842. Edward T. Peery, presiding elder: 

Shawnee, L. B. Stateler 

Manual-labor school, J. C. Berryman 

Delaware, E. T. Peery 

Kickapoo, N. M. Talbot 

Kansas, Geo. W. Love 

Pottawatomie, supply 

1843. Edward T. Peery, presiding elder : 

Shawnee, L. B. Stateler 

Manual-labor school, J. C. Berryman 

Delaware, E. T, Peery, John Peery 

Kickapoo, N. T. Shaler 

Pottawatomie, Thomas B. Ruble 

Wyandot, supply 

1844. Indian Mission conference, Kansas River dis- 

trict, N. M. Talbot, presiding elder : 

Indian manual-labor school, E. T. Peery 

Delaware and Kickapoo, N. M. Talbot, J. T. 
Peery : 

Delaware 

Kickapoo 



Number in society. 
White. Colored. Indians. 

4 .... 2 



1 

1 

37 



186 

94 

41 

5 







163 


29 


10 


38 


4 


2 


98 


3 




35 


1 




45 


4 


2 


242 



25 



40 



108 
38 



228 



Kansas State Historical Society. 



1844. Shawnee and Wyandot, J. Wheeler and one to 

be supplied : 

Shawnee 

Wyandot 

Pottawatomie, Chippewa, Peoria, and Wea, 
Thomas Hurlburt, Thomas B. Ruble : 

Pottawatomie 

Peoria 

1845. Indian Mission conference, Kansas River dis- 

trict, L. B. Stateler, presiding elder : 
Indian mission, manual-labor school, William 

Patton, superintendent 

Shawnee, L. B. Stateler, Paschal Fish 

Delaware, N. T. Shaler, W. D. Collins 

Kickapoo, Charles Ketchum 

Wyandot, E. T. Peery 

Pottawatomie, Thomas Hurlburt 

Chippewa, Wea, and Sac, Maccinnaw Boach- 

man [ Mackinaw Beauchemie] 

Kansas, J. C. Berryman 

1846. Methodist Episcopal Church South, Kansas 

River district, L. B. Stateler, presiding elder: 
Indian manual-labor school, William Patton, 

superintendent 

Shawnee, L. B. Stateler, Paschal Fish 

Delaware, N. T. Shaler, W. D. Collins 

Kickapoo, Charles Ketchum 

Wyandot, E. T. Peery 

Pottawatomie, Thos. Hurlburt 

Chippewa, Wea, and Sac, Maccinaw Boachman, 
Kansas, J. C. Berryman 

1847. Kansas River district, L. B. Stateler, presiding 

elder: 
Indian manual-labor school, Thomas Johnson, 

Tyson Dines 

Shawnee, L. B. Stateler 

Delaware, N. T. Shaler 

Kickapoo, Paschal Fish 

Wyandot, E. T. Peery 

Chippewa, Wea, and Sac, Maccinaw Boachman, 
Kansas, to be supplied 

1848. Kansas River district, L. B. Stateler, presiding 

elder: 
Indian manual-labor school, Thos. Johnson, T. 

Hurlburt 

Shawnee, L. B. Stateler 

Delaware, B. H. Russell 

Kickapoo, N. T. Shaler 

Wyandot, J. T. Peery 



Number in society. 
White, Colored. Indians. 



19 



153 

242 



31 
35 



25 


19 


6 


332 


4 


90 


3 


66 


1 


1 



18 


12 




130 


1 


50 




34 


3 


158 


1 


51 


1 





20 
140 

50 

30 
169 

37 



17 


11 




127 


1 


56 




34 




165 



Methodist MissioTis Among the Indians in Kansas. 229 



1848. Kansas, T. Johnson 

Western Academy, N. Scarritt 

1849. Kansas River district, L. B. Stateler, presiding 

elder: 

Indian manual-labor school, Thos. Johnson, su- 
perintendent, J. T. Peery 

Shawnee, L. B. Stateler 

Delaware, J. A. Cummings 

Wyandot, B. H. Russell 

Kickapoo, N. T. Shaler 

Kansas, T. Johnson 

Pottawatomie, T. Hurlburt 

Western Academy, N. Scarritt 

1850. Methodist Episcopal Church South: 

Manual-labor school, Thomas Johnson 

Shawnee, B. H. Russell 

Wyandot and Delaware, L. B. Stateler, N. T. 

Shaler 

Kickapoo mission, Thomas Hurlburt 

Kansas school, Thomas Johnson 

Western Academy, Nathan Scarritt 

1851. Fort Leavenworth manual-labor school, Thomas 

Johnson 

Shawnee, Delaware, and Wyandot, N. Scarritt, 

D. D. Doffelmeyer 

Kickapoo, J. Grover 

Kansas Indians, Thomas Johnson 

1852. Indian manual-labor school, Thomas Johnson . . 

Shawnee, Charles Boles 

Wyandot, D. D. Doffelmeyer «» 

Delaware, J. Barker 

Kickapoo, J. Grover 

1853. Indian manual-labor school, Thomas Johnson . . 

Shawnee, Charles Boles 

Delaware, J. Barker 

Wyandot, D. D. Doffelmeyer 

Kickapoo, N. T. Shaler 

1854. Fort Leavenworth manual-labor school, Thomas 

Johnson 

Shawnee, Charles Boles 

Delaware 

Wyandot, D. D. Doffelmeyer 

Kickapoo, N. T. Shaler 

1855. Manual-labor school, Thomas Johnson 

Shawnee, Charles Boles 

Wyandot, William Barnett 

Delaware, N. M. Talbot 

Kickapoo, N. T. Shaler 



Number in society. 
White. Colored. Indians. 



20 

1 
5 
1 



15 



16 

3 
2 



5 

102 
56 

103 
32 



3 

80 

89 

50 

2 



3 

100 



102 
81 
65 



Note 98.— Gov. Wm. Walker, in his journal, p. 3%, spells the name Duffle[meyer]. 



230 



Kansas State Historical Society. 



Number in society. 
White. Colored. Indians. 



1856. Manual-labor school, Thomas Johnson . 

Shawnee, Charles Boles 

Wyandot, William Barnett 

Delaware, N. T. Shaler 

Kickapoo, F. M. Williams 

1857. Manual-labor school, Thomas Johnson . 

Shawnee, Charles Boles 

Wyandot, William Barnett 

Delaware, N. T. Shaler 

Kickapoo, A. WiUiams 

1858. Manual-labor school, Thomas Johnson . 

Shawnee, Joab Spencer 

Delaware, N. T. Shaler 

Wyandot, William Barnett 

1859. Manual-labor school, Thomas Johnson 

Shawnee, Joab Spencer 

Delaware, N. T. Shaler 

Wyandot, William Barnett 

1860. Manual-labor school, Thomas Johnson 

Shawnee, Thomas Johnson 

Delaware, N. T. Shaler 

Wyandot, William Barnett 

1861. Manual-labor school, Thomas Johnson 

Shawnee, R. C. Week 

Delaware 

Wyandot, William Barnett 



9 

3 

10 

9 

3 

7 

18 

6 



6 

4 
11 
21 



10 
43 

3 
10 
43 



82 
31 
63 



92 
28 
58 



68 
64 
18 



66 
21 

71 
66 
21 



When the Methodist Episcopal Church South was organized, in 1845, the 
Methodist Episcopal church retired from the field, but entered it again in 
1848, with the following appointments: 

1848. Platte Mission district, Abraham Still, presiding elder: 
Wyandot, supplied. 

Platte Mission district, Abraham Still, presiding elder: 
Indian mission, Thos. B. Markham, Paschal Fish. 
No appointments for Kansas. 
Platte mission, Geo. W. Roberts, presiding elder: 
Indian missions: Wyandot, Delaware, and Kickapoo, James Witten, 

Charles Ketchum. 
Shawnee, Henry Reeder, Paschal Fish. 
Platte Mission district, G. W. Rains, presiding elder: 
Wyandot, Delaware, and Shawnee, A. Still,. M. T. Klepper, Paschal 

Fish, Charles Ketchum. 
Platte Mission district, J. H. Hopkins, presiding elder: 
Wyandot, Delaware and Shawnee missions, A. Still, J. M. Chivington, 

Paschal Fish, Charles Ketchum. 
Kansas and Nebraska Mission district, W. H. Goode, presiding elder: 
Shawnee mission, W. H. Goode. 
Wyandot and Delaware, J. H. Dennis, Charles Ketchum, and one 

supply. 
North Kansas Mission district, L. B. Dennis, presiding elder: 

Charles Ketchum and one supply. 



1849. 

1850. 
1851. 



1852. 



1853. 



1854. 



1855. 



Methodist Missions Among the Indians in Kansas. 231 



PROBABLY THE FIRST SCHOOL IN KANSAS FOR WHITE 

CHILDREN. 

Written for the Kansas State Historical Society by Geo. P. Morehouse, of Council Grove. 

77^0 R several months a contest has been going on through the newspapers of the state relative 
-^ to when and where was held the first school for the education of young Kansans. It seems 
that some localities in Douglas and Leavenworth counties strive for the honor. Now that they 
have established their dates and places, "Historic Council Grove" comes into the contest and 
shows that it had a well-organized white school several years before Kansas was even a territory. 

This building was constructed in 1850, and the teacher was Judge T. S. Huffaker, who still 
lives near this city, close by the old mission building, in which the scheol was held. This date is 
several years prior to any date claimed by the other localities, and as we can produce the build- 
ing and the teacher who gives the living testimony the evidence is complete. Judge Huffaker 
and his wife last year celebrated the fifty-third anniversary of their wedding, which took place 
in this same old historic building on May 6, 1852. Judge Huffaker came to Kansas in 1849 and has 
lived here aver since, and has probably resided in the state longer than any other living person, 
now that Col. A. S. Johnson is dead. 

In ttis article are produced 
the pictures of the old schoolhouse 
and the teacher, as he now looks, 
in his eighty-second year. The 
building was first constructed for 
a mission school for the Kaw or 
Kansas Indians, and Mr. Huffaker 
had it in charge for a number of 
years. The building is of stone, 
with two large fireplace chimneys 
in each gable. The walls are 
very thick, and the general ap- 
pearance of the structure is solid 
and quaint and the surroundings 
are romantic. Eighteen hundred 
and fifty, or fifty-six years ago, 
is a long way back in the history 
of Kansas, but this old building 
is still in good condition and is 
occupied as a dwelling. It has 
been used for many purposes, 
such as a schoolhouse, council- 
house, meeting-house, church- 
house, and during the Indian raids 
and scares of the old frontier days 
it was often the place of refuge 
and stronghold, to which the 
early settlers fled for safety. It 
might be added, in passing, that 
probably the first Sunday-school 
for white children in Kansas was 
also held in this building by this 
worthy couple. The first relig- 
ious meetings in this region were 
held in the building at a time 
when the next Western preach- 
ing appointment of the presiding 
elder was Denver, Colo. It will 

always be a noted shrine in this state, where early movements were started, and it is hoped it 
will be preersved for many years, for it is surely one of the most interesting buildings in Kansas. 
If it was closer to the center of the city it might be used for a library, museum, or art gallery, 
and thus preserved for many generations. 

Governor Reeder and staff and other territorial officers were entertained here when on their 
expedition to select a site for the capital of Kansas, and the uncertainty as to the title of the Kaw 
Indian lands surrounding this place only prevented Council Grove from being chosen. This old 




JUDGE T. S. HUFFAKER, 

The only surviving teacher of the Indian schools, still living 
at Council Grove, Kan., in his eighty-second year. 



232 



Kansas State Historical Society. 




Methodist Missions Among the Indians in Kansas. 233 

building is right on the west bank of the beautiful Neosho, in the north part of the city, and is 
one of the most pleasant and attractive spots in this region. It will always be pointed out as one 
of the oldest and most historic buildings in Kansas, and the location of probably the first organ- 
ized white school in the state. Its priority is not a matter of a few months, for it antedates the 
claims of Leavenworth and Douglas counties four or five years. The manner in which the white 
school was held in this place by Mr. Huffaker was as follows : The better element of the Kaws, 
or the pure Indian type of that wild tribe, refused to send their children to the mission school, 
but as a rule only allowed the orphans and a few dependents of the tribe to attend. They con- 
sidered it very degrading and a breach of true, old Indian dignity and aristocracy to adopt and 
follow the educational methods of their white brothers. 

Council Grove, even prior to the '50's, was a noted frontier outpost and gathering- place, and 
one of the earliest towns and trading-points on the Santa Fe trail in the state of Kansas, and had a 
considerable white population. The children of the government employees, mail and stage contrac- 
tors, traders, blacksmiths and other whites connected with Indian affairs and with the vast over- 
land commerce of the trail were without school privileges. What should be done? In May, 1851, 
Mr. T. S. Huffaker, whose time was not entirely taken up with his other duties, came to the res- 
cue and established a white-school department in this old building, and classes were formed 
with a dozen or fifteen white pupils. This is a larger attendance than reached by several dis- 
trict schools of this county even at the present time. For three or four years Mr. Huffaker in- 
structed these white pupils in the elementary school branches. The terms were not irregular 
and short, but continued through the year with only brief summer vacations. It was a free 
school, and it was a very commendable act on the part of Mr. Huffaker, and a great boon to the 
white children living so far out in the wilderness of the "Great American Desert." 

We find, in looking over the claims of other Kansas schools, the following : Lawrence had a 
school organized in January, 1855, in the back office of Dr. Charles Robinson, in the Emigrant Aid 
building. It was taught by Edward P. Fitch (afterwards killed in the Quantrill raid ), who was 
paid by private subscriptions, and the term was three and a half months, with about twenty 
pupils attending.'" Leavenworth county ""^ had an organized school in May, 1856, near Spring- 
dale. The schoolhouse was an abandoned settler's cabin, and the teacher was V. K. Stanley, of 
Wichita, Kan. The "union school," '"' with a term of three months, was three miles north of 
Lawrence, and was organized by Robert Allen in February, 1855. There is an account of a lady 
opening a school in her home near Lawrence in December, 1854, with her four children and three 
others of the neighbors, but as it only lasted for a part of a week it does not reach the status of a 
real school. 

The school held by Judge Huffaker in the above old building for the white children of this lo- 
cality was several years before Lawrence had an existence or the territory of Kansas was or- 
ganized, and was without doubt the initial movement of that Kansas spirit and ambition for a 
free and liberal education which have grown to such magnitude and perfection as to receive the 
praise and commendation of the educational forces of mankind. 

Council Grove has many unique and noted shrines of historic character about which cluster 
interesting and instructive early Kansas history and tradition, such as Council oak, Custer elm, 
Fremont park. Soldier hole. Belfry hill, old Kaw villages. Sunrise rock. Hermit's cave, old trail 
buildings, famous old crossing, Padilla's monument, on Mount Padilla, and others, but few are 
more prized or filled with more interest to our present generation than the " old mission " by the 
ford, within the strong, thick, stone walls of which were gathered over fifty years ago the first 
classes of the first organized white school that started the boys and girls of the " Sunflower " 
state on the royal road of a liberal education. 

Hon. Thomas Sears Huffaker, son of Rev. George Huffaker, was born m Clay county, Mis- 
souri, March 30, 1825. His parents were from Kentucky, moving to Missouri in 1820. He ob- 
tained his education in country district schools and in the Howard high school. In 1849, when 
Judge Huffaker was twenty-four years old, he moved to Kansas, and is at the present time 
probably the earliest living Kansas settler. 

At first he was employed in connection with the manual training school for Indians at 
Shawnee Mission, in Johnson county. He there began a career of active interest in Indian 
affairs and in the development of the state which has been highly honorable and interesting. In 

Note 99.— Cutler's History of Kansas, 1883, p. 323, says the first school taught in Lawrence 
commenced January 16. 1855 ; Edward P. Fitch, teacher. See, also, Cordley's History of Law- 
rence, 1895, p. 23. 

Note 100. — See Leavenworth Times, May 6, 1900 : also clippings from Topeka Capital. More 
extended notices of these schools are found in clippings preserved in the Historical Society's 
Collections. 

Note lOL — This appears to be the school on Reeder's float, taught by Robert J. Allen. 



234 



Kansas State Historical Society. 



1850 he came to Council Grove, at that time an important point on the Santa Fe trail and the 
capital of the Kaw (or Kansas) Indians, whose reservation surrounded the town. Here he took 
charge of the Indian mission school which had just been organized under the auspices of the 
Methodist Episcopal Church South, but supported by the United States government. On May 
6, 1852, he was married to Miss Eliza A. Baker by the Reverend Nicholson, a missionary on his 
way to old Mexico over the trail, who stopped at the mission. 

This was the first marriage in this region, 
and one of the first in the state. Mrs. Huf- 
faker was born in Illinois in 1836. and had 
lived in Iowa with her parents, where her 
father was blacksmith for the Sac and Fox 
Indians. Their living children are: Mary H. 
(Mrs. J. H. Simcock), Aggie C. ( Mrs. Louis 
Wysmeyer), Annie G. (Mrs. Fred B. Carpen- 
ter). George M., Homer, and Carl, and there 
are a dozen or more grandchildren. Judge 
Huffaker had charge of the Kaw mission 
school till 1854, when it was abandoned. It 
was during these years (1850-'54) that he 
organized a school for white children in the 
old mission building, and he and his wife 
thus became probably the first school-teach- 
ers'of white children in the state. At times 
ha was manager of the Kansas Indian trad- 
ing-housa.'and at one time had charge of the 
farm.ing interests of the tribe. He often 
held important ipositions in Indian affairs as 
a trusted agent, being a fluent linguist in not 
only the Kaw dialect, but also in the Osage, 
Ponca, and others. Few men ever had more 
influence with the Kaws than "Tah-poo- 
skah," the name they gave him, by which he 
is even known to-day. It means teacher. 
Judge Hufl'aker was the first postmaster of 
Council Grove, and, July 24, 1858, chairman of the first board of county supervisors (now com- 
missioners), appointed by Acting Governor F. P. Stanton.'"" 

He was one of the incorporators of the Council Grove Town Company. In the seventies he 
served twice in the Kansas Uegislature, 1874 and 1879, and has been probate judge of Morris 
county several times. From 1864 to 1871 he was regent of the State Normal School. He is a 
member of the Masonic fraternity and the Methodist Episcopal Church South, which was the 
first church organization in the county. While from a Southern family, he was loyal and stood 
for the Union during the war, and has been a trusted leader in the Republican party since that 
period. His experiences have been varied, and his active career has extended through preterri- 
torial, territorial and state periods, and to-day he takes an active part in public affairs, and is an 
authority on all historical matters. The judge and his worthy wife live in the same old home- 
stead they established so many years ago, and are enjoying good health, and have a large circle 
of friends in many states. They spent the last winter in St. Louis with a daughter. On the 6th 
of last May they celebrated the fifty-third anniversary of their wedding, and over 200 guests en- 
joyed the hospitality of the famous old homestead. Mr. Huffaker was a delegate from Morris 
county in the Republican state convention which met May 2, 1906. 

The history of Kansas could not be correctly written without frequent and worthy mention 
of Judge Huffaker, for he is the oldest notable living settler in the state. 

Note 102.— Thomas S. Huffaker also received three appointments from Governor Reeder: As 
judge of the eighth election district for first territorial election, November 29. 1854, for delegate 
to Congress ; March 30, 1855, for member of first territorial legislature ; May 22, 1855, to fill va- 
cancy in the council.— Kansas Historical Collections, vol. 3, pp. 233. 255. 275. He was also ap- 
pointed commissioner of election by Fred. P. Stanton, December 19, 1857.— Ibid., vol. 5, p. 460. 




MRS. ELIZA A. HUFFAKER. 



Methodist Missions Among the Indians in Kansas. 235 

The following items relative to early schools in Kansas will be of general interest in connec- 
■tion w^ith this paper: 

Mrs. Bonnett. whose letter follows, had inquired for the number of schools in Kansas at the 
time they came under territorial control, and the pay of teachers. 
"Mrs. W. H. Bonnett, Eureka. Kan.: "January 22, 1906. 

"My Dear Madam — I regret to say that I find no compilation of statistics in regard to 
schools in Kansas prior to December, 185S, the time of publication of the first report of the terri- 
torial superintendent of public instruction. Although an act to provide for the establishment of 
common schools was passed by the first territorial legislature, in 1855, the disturbed condition of 
the territory and the inefliciency of the law rendered it ineffectual. 

"The first free-state legislature, in February, 1858, passed 'An act providing for the organiza- 
tion, support and maintenance of common schools,' including provision for a territorial superin- 
tendent. James H. Noteware, the first appointee under this act. published this law in pamphlet 
form some time later than the 2d of June. 1858 ; so we can probably use that date as the begin- 
ning of organized schools in Kansas. 

" I have examined county histories, 'The History of Education in Kansas,' 1893, and Cutler's 
History, 1883, and find in them mention of at least seventy-six schools, though records are evi- 
dently so imperfect that it is impossible to state facts. For instance, the first report of the ter- 
ritorial superintendent, in January, 1859, states that sixteen school districts in Leavenworth 
county reported in December, 1858, while up to June, 1858, I can find mention of only two schools 
in the whole county. 

" In Douglas county, in December, 1859, thirty-three schools were in operation, while I find but 
four in Douglas county in June, 1858. 

"As to the pay of teachers, the little town of Greeley. Anderson county, allowed the teacher 
thirty dollars per month in November. 1856, for a school of twelve pupils, the next winter adding 
free board among the students, who had increased to twenty. 

'In a union school in a countr>' district four miles west of Lawrence, twenty dollars per 
month was paid in May, 1856, there being from twenty-five to thirty-one pupils. 

"At Manhattan, in 1857, forty-five dollars was paid for a teacher of sixteen pupils for three 
months. 

"The Rev. J. B. McAfee, in May, 1855, opened a school in the Lutheran church at Leavenworth, 
of which he was the pastor, charging primary pupils five dollars and advanced ten dollars for 
twelve weeks' school. Later, in 1857, he opened a similar school at Valley Falls, in Jefferson 
county. 

"In the city of Leavenworth, in October, 1859, there were five schools, in three buildings ; a 
man and woman teaching in each building, and receiving for their combined labors $1000 an- 
nually. 

"Trusting this will be satisfactory, I remain, yours very truly, Geo. W. Martin." 



" J. M. Armstrong taught the first free school in the territory, which was opened July 1, 
1844. The building was a frame one, with double doors, which but a few years since stood on the 
«ast side of Fourth street, between Kansas and Nebraska avenues, Wyandotte city [now Kansas 
City, Kan.] It was sometimes, but erroneously, called the council-house. J. M. Armstrong con- 
tracted to build it, and commenced teaching on the date named. The council of the nation met 
in it during vacations or at night. The expenses of building the school were met out of the fund 
secured by the Wyandot treaty of March, 1842. The school was managed by directors appointed 
by the council, the members of which were elected annually by the people. White children were 
-admitted free. Mr. Armstrong taught until 1845, when he went to Washington as the legal rep- 
resentative of the nation to prosecute their claims. Rev. Mr. Cramer, of Indiana, succeeded 
him ; then Robert Robitaille, chief of the nation ; next Rev. R. Parrott, Indiana ; Mrs. Arm- 
strong, December, 1847, to March, 1848 ; Miss Anna H. Ladd, who came with the Wyandots in 
1843 ; and Mr. and Mrs. Armstrong. . . . The school was closed in the old building April 16, 
1852 ; resumed in Mrs. Armstrong's dining-room ; removed the next winter to the Methodist 
Episcopal church, three-quarters of a mile west of her house, and left without a home when that 
structure was burned by incendiaries, April 8, 1856."— Cutler's History of Kansas, 1883, p. 1228. 
See, also, Mrs. Armstrong's account of the school, on same page. 

A pioneer school on Reeder's float, two and one-half miles northwest of Lawrence, com- 
menced May 10, 1855. The teachers were Robert J. Allen and, later. James F. Legate. — Letters 
from G. W. W. Yates, in Historical Society's manuscript collections ; see, also, Wyandotte Chief, 
March 12-July 23, 1884. 

J. B. McAfee, in his autobiography, in Historical Society's manuscript collections, says: 
" May 14, 1855, he founded the Leavenworth Collegiate Institute, the first school in Kansas, In- 
dian missions and government forts excepted. He taught school during the week. . . . The 
school was in a flourishing condition when he turned it over, in July, 1856, to Professor Strong, 
an accomplished teacher." — See, also. Cutler's History of Kansas, 1883, p. 432. 

J. B. McAfee, in his autobiography, says: "... On May 13 [1855] assisted in organizing 
the first Sabbath-school in Kansas after the organization of the territory." — See, also. Cutler's 
History of Kansas, 1883, p. 314, for account of first Bible class formed in Lawrence, October, 1854. 
Cordley's History of Lawrence, 1895, p. 23, gives an account of this and also of first Sunday- 
achool organized in Lawrence, in January, 1855. 



IV. 

River Navigation. 



A HISTORY OF THE MISSOURI RIVER. 

A paper read by Phil. E. Chappell.' of Kansas City, Mo., before the Kansas State Historical 
Society, at its twenty-ninth annual meeting. December 6, 1904. 

THERE is but little doubt that had the Missouri river been discovered 
before the Mississippi the name of the former would have been ap- 
plied to both streams, the Missouri being considered the main stream 
and the upper Mississippi the tributary. 
From the mouth of the three forks of the 
Missouri, northwest of Yellowstone Park, 
to its mouth, as it meanders, is a distance 
of 2547 miles, and to the Gulf of Mexico 
the Missouri-Mississippi has a length of 
3823 miles.'- The Missouri, including the 
Jefferson or Madison branches, is longer 
than the entire Mississippi, and more than 
twice as long as that part of the latter 
stream above their confluence. It drains 
a watershed of 580,000 square miles, and 
its mean total annual discharge is esti- 
mated to be twenty cubic miles, or at a 
mean rate of 94,000 cubic feet per second, 
M^hich is more than twice the quantity of 
the water discharged by the upper Miss- 
issippi. ^ It is by far the boldest, the 
most rapid and the most turbulent of the 
two streams, and its muddy water gives 
color to the lower Mississippi river to the 
Gulf of Mexico. By every rule of nomen- 
clature, the Missouri is the main stream, 
and the upper Mississippi the tributary— the name of the former should have 

Note 1. — As a rule, the writers of history are not the makers of it. The makers of history 
are reluctant, for many reasons, to set down in words their understanding of occurrences in 
which they have participated. But where the historical student can follow the story of one who 

Note 2. — These figures are from J. V. Brower's The Missouri River, 1897, p. 120, who 
bases them on the reports of the Mississippi and Missouri river commissions: he gives the 
length of the Missouri river, including the Jefferson branch, as 294.5 miles. The Century Cyclo- 
pedia of Names, p. 691, gives the length of this river, including the Madison branch, as 3047 
mi les, and the total Missouri-Mississippi length 4200 miles. The Encyclopedia Americana. 1904, 
vol. 10, gives the length of the Missouri river, including the Madi.son branch, as 2915 miles, and 
the length including the Jefferson branch as 3000 miles, with a total Missouri-Mississippi length 
of 4200 miles. 

Note 3.— The Encyclopedia Americana, 1904. vol. 10, gives the basin as 527,690 square miles 
a nd the discharge per second, 120,000 cubic feet. 

(237) 




PHIL E. CHAPPELL. 
Kar.sas City, Mo. 



238 Kansas State Historical Society. 

been given precedence, and the great river, the longest in the world, should 
have been called Missouri from the Rocky Mountains to the Gulf of Mexico. 
The earliest Spanish explorers evidently considered the lower Mississippi 
but a continuation of the Missouri, for during the famous expedition of 
Francisco Vasquez de Coronado in search of Quivira, 1540-'42, the Indians 
told him— 

"The great river of the Holy Spirit (Espiritu Santo), which Don 
Fernando de Soto discovered in the country of Plorida, flows through this 
country. . . . The sources were not visited, because, according to what 
they said, it comes from a very distant country, in the mountains of the 
South sea, from the part that sheds its waters onto the plains. It flows 
across all the level country and breaks through the mountains of the North 
sea, and comes out where the people with Don Fernando de Soto navigated 
it. This is more than 300 leagues from where it enters the sea. On ac- 
count of this, and also because it has large tributaries, it is so mighty 
when it enters the sea that they lost sight of the land before the water 
ceased to be fresh. "^ 

The Missouri river was the same ugly, muddy, tortuous, i-apid stream 
when first seen by the early French explorers that it is to-day. When, 
about the 1st of July, 1673, the Jesuit explorers, Marquette and Joliet,* 
the first white men to descend the Mississippi, arrived at the mouth of the 
Missouri during the June rise, they were astonished to see flowing in from 

is privileged to say, "all of which I saw and part of which I was," his confidence is greater and 
his satisfaction more profound. We have such a writer in the person of Mr. Philip Edward 
Chappell, author of the sketch of the history of early steamboating on the Missouri river. Mr. 
Chappell was born in Callaway county, Missouri, about ten miles from Jefferson City, August 
18, 1837. He was descended from some of the best-known families in the South, his Chappell an- 
cestors in this country having settled at the mouth of the James river in 1635. Mr. Chappell 
lived on the home farm in Callaway county and studied at the local (log house) school until he 
was fifteen years of age. and then left home for college. He spent two years at the Kemper 
school in Boon ville and two years at the Missouri State University, at Columbia, Mo. Return- 
ing home at nineteen years of age, he immediately began his business career by entering the 
steamboat service on the Missouri. He continued in this service until 1860, when he was called 
home to manage his father's estate. In the following year he married Miss Teresa Ellen Tarl- 
ton, daughter of Col. Meredith R. Tarlton. Mr. and Mrs. Chappell were blessed with a family of 
two sons and three daughters. In 1869 Mr. Chappell's plantation yielded a great crop of tobacco, 
Mr. Chappell being awarded first prize at the St. Louis fair for the best hogshead of the leaf. 
After that, owing to the radical change in the labor conditions, no more large tobacco crops were 
undertaken, and Mr. Chappell removed to Jefferson City and in 1870 took the presidency of the 
Jefferson City Savings Association, afterwards the Exchange Bank, the oldest bank in that city. 
He was a member of the city council of Jefferson City, and in 1872 was elected mayor. From 
1873 to 1886 he was a member of the board of managers of the state insane asylum, and in 1880 he 
was elected state treasurer, a position he held for four years. On leaving this oflice he removed 
to Kansas City, where he became president of the Citizens' National Bank. In 1891 he resigned 
from the bank on account of overwork and has since lived a somewhat retired life, though in 
1889 he was a member of the 'first board of public works of Kansas City, and he is now (1906 ) 
president of the Safety Deposit Company of Kansas City. His own large property and his 
literary work occupy most of his time. 

This brief sketch of Mr. Chappell's business career is given in order to emphasize the char- 
acter of the writer of the present article and the others from his pen which may come to the stu- 
dent's notice. Mr. Chappell is accurate and painstaking in all his work. Conscientious to the 
last degree, he counts all labor lost in any line of research which falls short of arriving as nearly 
as possible at absolute certainty. He has always been an inveterate reader, and though making 
no pretension to literary skill, his work has always shown that straightforward simplicity which 
has characterized the strongest writers of history from Ca?sar to Grant. It is safe to say that 
Mr. Chappell has done more than almost any other man to preserve the fast disappearing facts 
of early Missouri history. It is hoped that he will follow this charming task for many future 
years, so as to still further command the thanks of generations to come.— Charles S. Gleed. 

Note 4. — Winship's Tranlations of Castaneda, in^. S. Bureau of Ethnology, vol. l-f, p. 529. 

Note 5.— It was more than a century and a half after the discovery of the Mississippi river 
by the Spaniards, in 1519, before the French made this effort to explore it. In 1634 Jean Nicolet, 
the French interpreter, had left Quebec, and, ascending the St. Lawrence and Ottawa rivers, 
passed, by way of French river and Lake Huron, through the Straits of Macinaw. Then, coast- 
ing along Lake Michigan, he reached Green bay and ascended Fox river. From the Indians in 
that vicinity he heard of the great river toward the west. Other explorers and Jesuit missiona- 
ries followed — Fathers Raymbault and Jogues in 1641, and Radisson and Groseilliers in 1654-'56. 
All of these adventurers brought back to Quebec wonderful accounts of a great river west of 
Lakes Michigan and Superior, and the two latter even claimed to have descended it, but int|> 
what sea it flowed was unknown to the Indians.— Larned. vol. 1, p. 63 ; Thwaites' Jesuit Rela- 
tions vol. 8, p. 295; vol. 11, p. 279; Parkman Club Publications. No. 2, p. 27. 



A History of the Missouri River. 239 

the west, a torrent of yellow, muddy water which rushed furiously 
athwart the clear blue current of the Mississippi, boiling and sweeping 
in its course logs, branches and uprooted trees. Marquette, in his jour- 
nal says: 

"I have seen nothing more dreadful. An accumulation of large and en- 
tire trees, branches and floating islands was issuing from the mouth of the 
River Pekistanoui with such impetuosity that we could not, without great 
danger, risk passing through it. So great was the agitation that the water 
was very muddy and could not become clear. 

"Pekitanoui is a river of considerable size, coming from the northwest 
from a great distance; and it discharges into the Mississippi."" 

Marquette was informed by the Indians that "by ascending this river for 
five or six days one reaches a fine prairie, twenty or thirty leagues long. 
This must be crossed in a northwesterly direction, and it terminates at an- 
other small river, on which one may embark, for it is not very difficult to 
transport canoes through so fine a country as that prairie. This second 
river flows toward the southwest for ten or fifteen leagues, after which it 
enters a lake, small and deep [the source of another deep river— substihited 
by Dablon], which flows toward the west, where it falls into the sea. I 
have hardly any doubt that it is the Vermillion sea."" 

This was an age of adventure and exploration among the people of the 
new world, and in 1672 Comte de Frontenac, the governor of New France, 
determined to send an expedition to dis'cover the "great river," in which 
great interest had now become awakened. Louis Joliet,^ a man of educa- 
tion, excellent judgment, and tried courage, was selected to undertake this 
hazai'dous enterprise. He had besides previously visited the Lake Superior 
region and spent several years in the far West. 

Joliet set out from Quebec in August, 1672, and in December arrived at 
Mackinaw, where he spent the winter in preparing for his expedition. He 
had orders to take with him a young Jesuit missionary. Father Marquette, 
a religious zealot, who had devoted his life to the spiritual welfare of the 
Indians, and who was then in charge of a mission at Point Ignace, opposite 
Mackinaw. The missionary, having long desired to visit the nations living 
along the Mississippi river, gladly joined Joliet, and on May 17, 1673, having 
laid in a supply of corn and dried buffalo meat, they set out with five Indi- 
ans in two canoes on their perilous voyage. Having reached Gieen Bay, 
they ascended the Fox river to its head, where they made a portage of one 
and one-half miles ^ to the head waters of the Wisconsin river. They floated 
down the last-named river until, on the 17th of June, the little fleet floated 
out upon the placid waters of the Mississippi. 

Note 6.— Thwaites' Jesuit Relations, vol. 59, p. 141. 

Note 7.— Id., vol. 59. p. 143. 

Note 8. — " They were not mistaken in the choice that they made of Sieur Jolyet, for he is a 
young man, bom in this country, who possesses all the qualifications that could be desired for 
such an undertaking. He has experience and knows the languages spoken in the country of the 
Outaouacs, where he has passed several years. He possesses tact and prudence, which are the 
chief qualities necessary for the success of a voyage as dangerous as it is difficult. Finally, he 
has the courage to dread nothing where everything is to be feared. Consequently, he has ful- 
filled all the expectations entertained of him ; and if, after having passed through a thousand 
dangers, he had not unfortunately been wrecked in the very harbor, his canoe having upset be- 
low Sault St. Louys, near Montreal, where he lost both his men and his papers, and whence he 
escaped only by a sort of miracle, nothing would have been left to be desired in the success of 
his voyage." — Thwaites' Jesuit Relations, vol. 59, p. 89; see, also, vol. 50, note 19, p. 324. 

Note 9.— Parkman, LaSalleand the Discovery of the Great West, 1879, p. 54. Marquette 
calls it "a portage of 2700 paces." — Thwaites' Jesuit Relations, vol. 59, p. 105. 



240 Kansas State Historical Society. 

Without meeting with any adventure worthy of notice, they arrived at 
the mouth of the Missouri about the 1st of July, 1673. 

After paddling their canoes down as far as the Arkansas,'" the voyagers 
became convinced that the Mississippi emptied into the Gulf of Mexico, 
and not into the Atlantic ocean or the Gulf of California, as had been sur- 
mised. They also learned from the natives that they were approaching a 
country where they were likely to encounter the Spaniards. They therefore 
very prudently turned the bows of their canoes up stream, and after a 
tedious voyage arrived at Green Bay by way of the Illinois river and Lake 
Michigan. Here the two comrades parted company, Marquette to remain 
for about a year with a tribe of Indians at the mission on Green bay, and 
Joliet to return to Quebec by the route he had come. In descending the St. 
Lawrence river Joliet's canoe was upset, and all of his papers, including 
his maps and journal, were lost. Fortunately, Marquette's papers were 
preserved, and it is from his journal, a priceless manuscript, that the above 
extracts, referring to the Missouri river, have been obtained. 

It seems that Marquette had contemplated a voyage down the Mississippi 
for several years before he met Joliet, for in a letter written in 1670 to 
Father Francois Le Mercier, superior of the Huron mission, after referring 
to the Mississippi river, then only known by reports from the Indians, and 
to the different Illinois tribes, he says of the Missouri : 

"Six or seven days' journey below the Illinois there is another great 
river on which live some very powerful nations, who use wooden canoes; of 
them we can write nothing else until next year— if God grant us the grace 
to conduct us thither. " " 

Marquette, having contracted a lingering malady in the South, died May 
19, 1675, on his return journey to Michillimackinac from Kaskaskia, where 
he had gone to found the mission of the Immaculate Conception. He was 
buried on the eastern shore of Lake Michigan, but his remains, over which 
a handsome monument has been erected, now repose at St. Ignace, near 
Mackinaw, Mich. 

The second expedition down the Mississippi was conducted by Robert 
Cavalier de La Salle in 1682. For several years La Salle, who had been an 
enterprising trader at Quebec, Canada, had contemplated completing the 
expedition of Marquette and Joliet by following the Mississippi to its 
entrance into the Gulf of Mexico and planting there the lilies of France. 
Following the usual course of travel, through the Straits of Mackinaw, and 
down the eastern shore of Lake Michigan, he arrived about the 1st of Janu- 
ary, 1682, at the mouth of a river called by the Indians Chicagou. Drag- 
ging their canoes up the frozen river they made the portage to the head of 
the Illinois, down which they descended, until the 6th of February found 
them at the mouth of that river, where they were detained for several days 
by ice in the Mississippi. 

La Salle's company consisted of thirty-one Indians and twenty-three 
Frenchman. Among the latter was Father Zenobius Membn', who has left 
an account of this famous expedition, from which the following is taken: 

"The ice which was floating down on the river Colbert at this place kept 
us there till the 13th of the same month, when we set out, and six leagues 

Note 10. — They descended the Mississippi to latitude 33 degrees 40 minutes. — Thwaites' 
Jesuit Relations, vol. 59, p. 159. 

Note 11. — Thwaites' Jesuit Relations, vol. 54, p. 191. 



A History of the Missouri River. 241 

lower down we found the river of the Ozages'- coming from the West. It 
is full as large as the river Colbert, into which it empties, and which is so 
disturbed by it that from the mouth of this river the water is hardly drink- 
able. The Indians assured us that this river is formed by many others, and 
that they ascend it for ten or twelve days to a mountain where they have 
their source; and that beyond this mountain is the sea, where great ships 
are seen; that it is peopled by a great number of large villages, of several 
different nations; that there are lands and prairies, and great cattle and 
beaver hunting. Although this river is very large, the main river does not 
seem augmented by it; but it pours in so much mud that from its mouth 
the water of the great river, whose bed is also very slimy, is more like clear 
mud than river water, without changing at all till it reaches the sea, a dis- 
tance of more than 300 leagues, although it receives seven large rivers, the 
water of which is very beautiful, and which are as large as Mississippi." '■^ 

Speaking in another place of the hostilities between the Iroquois and the 
Illinois Indians, ^^ Membr6 says: 

"There had been several engagements with equal loss on both sides, and 
that, at last, of the seventeen Illinois villages, the greater part had retired 
beyond the river Colbert, among the Ozages, 200 leagues from their country, 
where a part of the Iroquois had pursued them."i"' 

Henri de Tonty.i'' who also accompanied La Salle on this famous expe- 
dition, in his relation entitled "Enterprises of M. de La Salle from 1678 to 
1683," written at Quebec, in November, 1684, gives the following account 
of the Missouri river: 

"The Indians having finished making their canoes, we descended the 
river, and found, at six leagues,''^ upon the right hand, a river which fell 
into the river Colbert, which came from the west, and appeared to be as 
large and as considerable as the great river, according to the reports of the 
Indians. It is called the Emissourita, and is well peopled. There are even 
villages of Indians which use horses '"to go to war and to carry the car- 
casses of the cattle which they kill." ^^ 

Note 12.— Father Membre calls the Missouri river the Osage, doubtless from the tribe of 
Indians whose villages were then located on that stream near its confluence with the Mississippi. 
So imperfect was the knowledge of the country at that time, as it had never been explored, and 
so little was known of the rivers of the West, even by the Indians, that there was some doubt in 
the minds of the Frenchmen whether the Missouri or the Osage was the principal stream. 

Note 13.— Le Clercq's Establishment of the Faith, vol. 2, p. 163. 

Note 14. — The Kaskaskias, Peorias and Cahokias were, according to Parkman, component 
tribes of the Illinois nation. ( Conspiracy of Pontiac, 9th ed., vol. 2, p. 312. ) Father Vivier, mis- 
sionary among the Illinois in 1750, nearly seventy years later than Membre, says that this nation 
then lived in four villages, numbering in all 2000 souls, three of these villages being between the 
waters of the Kaskaskia and Mississippi rivers, and the fourth eighty leagues distant. He also 
says the population of the Illinois had been reduced from 5000, since first visited by the French 
missionaries sixty years before. (Thwaites' Jesuit Relations, vol. 69, pp. 145 and 149.) The 
Miamias and Weas appear also to have belonged to the Illinois. ( Thwaites' Jesuit Relations, 
vol. 58, p. 203.) These several tribes came to Kansas with the early Indian emigration from east 
of the Mississippi, and were finally removed to the Indian Territory. (Kan. His. Coll., vol. 8.) 

Note 15.— Le Clercq's Establishment of the Faith, vol. 2, r» 155. 

Note 16.— Henry de Tonty was the trusted friend and lieutenant of La Salle, and in point of 
energy, intelligence and personal courage was not behind his superior officer. In his youth he 
had lost an arm in battle, and had supplied the missing member with one of iron. This pecul- 
iarity was observed by the Indians, by whom he was universally known as the "Iron Hand." 
He accompanied La Salle in his first expedition down the Mississippi to its mouth, in 1682. He 
returned to the Illinois country the same year, and after La Salle's unfortunate death, during 
his second expedition, in 1687, he again went down the Mississippi, in 1689, for the purpose of res- 
cuing the remnant of the ill-fated colony. Of all the members oJf La Salle's famous expedition 
de Tonty was the bravest, the most loyal, and the most trustworthy. 

Note 17. — A French league is two and three-fourths miles. 

Note 18. — Horses, procured from the Spaniards in New Mexico, were in general use among 
the Indian tribes above the mouth of the Kaw at an early day. 

Note 19. — Margry, vol. 1, p. 595. 

-16 



242 Kansas State Historical Society. 

In the narration of Nicholas de La Salle, entitled "Relation of the Dis- 
covery which M. de La Salle has made of the Mississippi river in 1682, and 
of his return to Quebec," written in 1685, he says: "Finally we descended 
the Mississippi. The first day we camped six leagues on the right bank, 
near the mouth of a river which falls into the Mississippi and which is very 
impetuous and muddy. It is named the river of the Missouris. The river 
comes from the northwest. It is well peopled, according to what the In- 
dians say. The Panis are upon this river, a great distance from its mouth.-'" 

The Panis, or Pawnees,-' were at one time a numerous western people 
and roved over the country from Red river, Texas, to the Platte. The Re- 
publican Pawnees were encountered by Lieutenant Pike in Republic county, 
Kansas, in September, 1806. In a report of the secretary of war, made in 
1829, the number of the northern Pawnees was estimated at 12,000, divided 
into four bands— the Pawnee Republics, the Pawnee Loups, the Grand Paw- 
nees, and Pawnee Picts. They were located on the Platte, and claimed the 
country as far west as the Cheyennes. In 1836 their number was estimated 
by the government at 10,000, but in a subsequent report, made to the secre- 
tary of war in 1849, it is stated that they were still on the Platte, but that 
their number had been reduced through epidemics of smallpox in 1838, and 
cholera in 1849, to about 4500.^2 

This remai'kable mortality was not confined to the Pawnees alone, but 
extended to many other tribes on the upper Missouri, one-half of whom, it 
is said, died during the summer and winter of 1837-'38.- ' 

In 1855 the Pawnees ceded their lands in Nebraska to the government, 

Note 20.— Margry, vol. 1, p. 549. 

Note 21. — The members of this family are : "The Pawnees, the Arikaras, the Caddos, the 
Huecos or Wacos. the Keeehies. the Tawaconies, and the Pawnee Picts or Wichitas. The last 
five maybe designated as the southern or Red River branches." ( Dunbar, Magazine of Am. 
Hist., vol. 4, p. 241.) Du Tisne visited one of these southern branches on the Arkansas in 1719, 
called by him the Panis or Panioussas. ( Margry, vol. 6, p. 313 ; Kan. Hist. Soc. Coll., vol. 4, p. 
276.) Representatives of the Pawnees of the Platte, Panimahas, accompanied Bourgmont. in 
1724, on his visit to the Paducas in western Kansas, as will be seen hereafter. ( Margry, vol. 6, 
pp. 398-449.) 

Note 22.— United States Commissioner of Indian Affairs, 1836, p. 403 ; id., 1849. p. 140. 

Note 23.— Father De Smet, in his Travels among the Rocky Mountain Indians, in 1840, 
refers to this terrible epidemic among the Assiniboines, Minnetarees, Pawnees, Aricaras. Black- 
feet, Flatheads, Crows, Grosventrees, Mandans. and other tribes. Of the Mandans he says: "This 
once numerous nation is now reduced to a few families, the only survivors of the smallpox scourge 
of 1837. In a letter of Indian Agent John Dougherty to Supt. William Clark, dated Cantonment 
Leavenworth, October 29, 1831, he writes: " I have the honor to inform you that I have returned 
from a visit to the four Pawnee villages, all of whom I found in the most deplorable condition; 
indeed their misery defies all description. Judging from what I saw during the four days I spent 
with, and the information I received from, the chiefs and two Frenchmen, who reside with and 
speak their language well. I am fully persuaded that one-half of the whole number of souls of 
each village have been and will be carried off by this cruel and frightful distemper. They told 
me that not one under thirty-three years of age had escaped the monstrous disease — it having 
been that length of time since it visited them before. They were dying so fast, and taken down 
at once in such large numbers,, that they had ceased to bury their dead." (U. S. Ho. Rep., 
22d Cong., 1st sess., Ex. Doc. No. 190.) Isaac McCoy, in a letter to Lewis Cass, dated Washington, 
March 23, 1832, says : "The claims of humanity, in a case peculiarly affecting, compel me to ask 
leave to trouble you with this. I have this moment received information from Mr. Lykins, near 
Kanza river, dated February 25, that Maj. J. Dougherty believed that among the Pawnees. Otoes, 
Omahas, and Ponchas, more than 4000 persons had already died of the smallpox. Of the three lat- 
ter tribes, about 160 had died when the disease was checked by vaccination. Major Dougherty 
thinks that all the mountain tribes, as well as the Sioux and other northern Indians, will con- 
tractthe disease, unless measures should speedily be taken to prevent it." (Id., p 3.) T. Hartley 
Crawford, commissioner of Indian affairs, recommends to the chairman of the house committee 
on Indian affairs, December 14, 1838, the use of vaccine matter by physicians paid for the purpose 
by the United States, and says that the smallpox still prevails among the five tribes in the Indian 
Territory, "and that its ravages, at the latest dates, were not arrested on the upiier Missouri." 
(Ho. Rep., 25th Cong.. 3d sess., Doc. No. 51. i The smallpox was conveyed by the Missouri 
Fur Company's boat up the Missouri river in the summer of 1837. Quite lengthy particulars are 
given of the spread of the disease by Captain Chittenden in his American Fur Trade, and in 
Lieut. Jas. H. Bradley's Affairs at Fort Benton from 1831 to 1839, printed in volume III of the 
Contributions to the Historical Society of Montana. 



A History of the Missouri River. 243 

and in the '60's were removed, with other tribes, to the Indian Territory. 
The remnant of the tribe, now numbering 633,-^ are on a reservation near 
Ponca agency. They were among the most dangerous of the tribes that 
infested the Western plains from 1840 to I860.-' 

Henri Joutel, a native of Rouen, France, and a fellow townsman of La 
Salle, accompanied him, in 1684, on his second expedition to Louisiana. 
This time La Salle sailed directly to the Gulf of Mexico from France, 
whither he had gone in 1683, soon after the close of his first Louisiana ex- 
pedition, to secure permission and means to establish a French colony on 
the lower Mississippi. La Salle missed the mouth of the river but located a 
colony called St. Louis on the coast of Texas. Shortly after, he was cruelly 
murdered by one of his own men. Joutel, one of the half-dozen survivors 
of the ill-fated expedition, after La Salle's death, made his way up the 
Mississippi river to old Fort St. Louis, on the Illinois river, and thence to 
Quebec and France. 

The following is a reference to the Missouri river made by Joutel in his 
journal. He says: "We continued on the 30th [August, 1687], and on the 
1st of September passed by the mouth of a river called Missouri, whose wa- 
ter is always thick, and to which our Indians did not fail to ofl'er sacrifice. " -^ 

Among the priests in La Salle's party who accompanied Joutel was 
Father Anastasius Douay, a most devout missionary, from whom Father 
Le Clercq quotes regai'ding the Missouri river, which he passed in 1687 on 
his way to the Illinois, after La Salle's death: 

"About six leagues below this mouth [Illinois] there is on the northwest 
the famous river of the Massourites, or Ozages, at least as large as the 
main river into which it empties; it is formed by a number of other known 
rivers everywhere navigable, and inhabited by many populous tribes: . . . 
They include also the Ozages, who have seventeen villages on a river of 
their name, which empties into that of the Massourites, to which the maps 
have also extended the name of Ozages. The Akansa were formerly situ- 
ated on the upper part of one of these rivers, but the Iroquois-" drove them 
out by cruel wars some years ago, so that they, with some Ozage villages, 
have been obliged to descend and settle on the river which now bears their 
name, and of which I have spoken. "-^ 

Note 24. — Report of Commissioner of Indian Affairs, 1904, p. 606. 

Note 25. — "Their relations with the United States have always been friendly. Instances 
might be catalogued, no doubt, in considerable number, in which they have committed outrages. 
But if against these should be set a list of the wanton provocations that they have received at 
the hands of irresponsible whites their offenses would be probably sufficiently counterbalanced. 
. . . During the last fifteen years a battalion of Pawnee scouts has been employed a large 
portion of the time by the government against the hostile Dakotas. and in every campaign have 
won high encomiums for their intrepidity and soldierly efficiency." — John B. Dunbar, Magazine 
of Am. Hist., 1880, vol. 4. pp. 256, 257. 

Mr. T. S. Huffaker, of Council Grove, says that as late as 1856 or 1857 the Pawnees made in- 
cursions into Kansas for the purpose of stealing ponies from the Kaws, then in Morris county, 
and, besides robbing the Indians, drove off stock from the neighboring white settlers, taking 
forty or fifty ponies that he was keeping for Northrup & Chick. Although an agent sent to the 
Pawnee villages in Nebraska identified these ponies, the Indians would not return them. The 
government paid for one lot of ponies some years later. 

Note 26.— Margry, vol. 3, p. 471. 

Note 27.— The Iroquois were a confederation of Indians occupying the Mohawk valley and 
lakes of western New York, embracing the five nations first known as the Mohawks, Oneidas, 
Onondagas, Cayugas, and Senecas, and after the Tuscaroras had joined them from North Caro- 
lina, in 1712, the Six Nations. They were the most warlike of all the northern Indians, and were 
allies of the English in their contest with the French for supremacy in the new world. They 
subdued the neighboring Indian nations and extended their conquests beyond the St. Lawrence 
and even the Mississippi, as will be seen by the statements of Fathers Douay and Membre. The 
Encyclopedia Americana, 1904, says the census of the Six Nations still living in both the United 
States and Canada numbered, in 1902, about 17,000. See volume 8 of the Kansas Historical So- 
ciety Collections for lands granted these " New York Indians " in Kansas. 

Note 28.— LeClercq's Establishment of the Faith, vol. 2, p. 271. 



244 



Kansas State Historical Society. 




The Father of Navigation on the Missouri River. (See page 267.) 



A History of the Missouri River. 245 

In "Henri de Tont3''s Memoirs," published in Paris in 169?, he makes 
the following reference to the Osage Indians, in his trip down the Missis- 
sippi river to bring back the men of the ill-fated expedition of La Salle. 
He says: "We arrived on the 17th [October, 1689] at an Illinois village at 
the mouth of their river. They had just come from fighting the Osages 
and had lost thirteen men, but they brought back 130 prisoners."-'' 

In Tonty's account of the route from the Illinois, by the Mississippi 
river, to the Gulf of Mexico, he says: "The rivers of the Missouri come 
from the west, and, after traversing 300 leagues, ariive at a lake, Trhich I 
believe to be that of the Apaches. The villages of the Missounta, Otenta 
and Osage are near one another, and are situated on the prairies, 150 leagues 
from the mouth of the Missouri."-^" 

Again, he says of his downward voyage: "We descended the river [Mis- 
sissippi], and found, six leagues below, on the right, a great river [Mis- 
souri], which comes from the west, on which are numerous nations. We 
slept at its mouth." ■' 

Jean Francois de St. Cosme, a priest of the Seminary of Quebec, left 
Canada in the summer of 1698 and descended the Mississippi river by way 
of Green Bay and the Wisconsin river. He went as a missionary to Cahokia 
and later to Natchez,'*- and has left the following account of the Missouri 
river: 

"On the 6th of December, 1699, we embarked on the Mississippi river 
and after making about 600 leagues [1650 miles], we found the river of the 
Missourites, which comes from the West and which is so muddy that it 
spoils the water of the Mississippi, which, down to this, is clear. It is said 
that up this river are a great number of Indians." 

In another place he mentions meeting with the Arkansas Indians. "We 
told them," he says, "we were going further down the river among their 
neighbors and friends, and that they would see us often; that it w^ould be 
well to assemble all together, so as more easily to resist their enemies. They 
agreed to all of this and promised to try to make the Osages join them, who 
had left the river of the Missourites and were now on the upper waters of 
their own river." 

As the foregoing pages contain the first references to the Osage Indians 
preserved in history, the statements of the different writers may be worth 
a comparison. 

Father Membr^' says that in 1682 the greater part of the seventeen Illi- 
nois villages were driven across the Mississippi by the Iroquois, who pursued 
them until they took refuge with the Osages. Father Douay, in 1687, says 
that the Osages had seventeen villages on the Osage river, and that the Ar- 
kansas Indians, who had formerly lived in that section, had been driven out 
by the Iroquois some years before, and with some Osages had settled on the 
Arkansas. Henri de Tonty states that the Osages, in 1693, were then in 
the prairies 150 leagues from the mouth of the Missouri. This would be 
about 400 miles, which is very near the distance by the river route to where 
the prairies on the Osage set in, or between Osceola, in St. Clair county, 

Note 29. — Historical (Collections of Louisiana, French, vol. 1, p. 71. 

Note 30.— Id., vol. 1, p. 82. 

Note 31. —Id., vol. 1, p. 59. 

Note 32.— Thwaites' Jesuit Relations, vol. 65, p. 262, note 7. 



246 Kansas State Historical Society. 

and Papinsville, in Bates county, Missouri. This is the locality in which, 
as will hereafter appear, Du Tisni' found them twenty-six years afterwards, 
1719, and where they remained until they began their gradual removal to 
the Indian Territory, about 1796. '■' Father St. Cosme, in 1699, confirms the 
statement made by Douay, for he says the Osages had left the river of the 
Missourites and were on the upper waters of their own river. The map of 
Delisle, published in 1703, which gives the location of many of the Western 
tribes, lays down four villages of the Osages on their river. Three are high 
up on the river, apparently near Osceola; the other is located about where 
the town of Warsaw stands. There are none laid down nearer the mouth of 
the river. 

From this testimony left us by the early explorers, which must be re- 
liable, as it comes from so many different sources, it appears that the Osage 
Indians, at some time previous to 1682, dwelt near the mouth of the Osage 
river, either on the banks of that stream or on the Missouri. There is no 
question that about that time the lower Missouri tribes were attacked by 
the wild men from the East, the cruel and bloodthirsty Iroquois, who, as they 
were armed with British muskets, and the Missouri tribes had only the 
primitive bow and arrow, drove the Osages higher up their river, and the 
Missouris to the mouth of the Grand river. The beautiful country near the 
mouth of the Missouri was thus early abandoned by the red men. 

In many respects the Osages were the most remarkable of all the West- 
ern tribes. They, with the Missouri, are the first of which we have any 
data. They were distinguished by Marquette in 1673 as the "Ouchage" and 
"Autrechaha, " and by Penicaut in 1719 as the "Huzzau, " "Ous," and 
" Wawha." •'^ They were one of the largest and most powerful tribes west 
of the Mississippi, and they have remained longer in the same locality ; 
they have been the most peaceable of all the Western tribes and have given 
the government less trouble ; they are the tallest and best-proportioned 
Indians in America, few being less than six feet. 

The tribe was evidently a numerous one when first visited by the French, 
for Douay says in 1687 that they occupied seventeen villages. Like all our 
aborigines, contact with civilization rapidly diminished their numbers, for 
by 1804 they had decreased to 2300 warriors. 

At the time Lieut. Zebulon M. Pike visited the tribe, in 1806, it was sepa- 
rated into three bands. The history of this division he gives as follows: 

"The Osage nation is divided into three villages, and in a few years you 
may say nations, viz. : The Grand Osage, the Little Osage, and those of the 
Aricansaw. 

"The Little Osage separated from the Big Osage about 100 years since, 
when their chiefs, on obtaining permission to lead forth a colony from the 
great council of the nation, moved on to the Missouri; but after some years, 
finding themselves too hard pressed by their enemies, they again obtained 
permission to return, put themselves under the protection of the Grand 
village, and settled down about six miles off. 

" The Arkansaw schism was effected by Mr. Pierre Choteau, ten or twelve 
years ago, as a revenge • n Mr. Manuel De Sezei [Liza or Lisa], who had 
obtained from the Spanish government the exclusive trade of the Osage 
nation, by the way of the Osage river, after it had been in the hands of Mr. 
Choteau for nearly twenty years. The latter, having the trade of the Ar- 

NoTE 33. -History of Vernon County. Missouri, 1887, p. 131. 

Note 34. — Annual Report United States Bureau of Ethnology, vol. 15, p. 192. 



A History of the Missouri River. 247 

kansaw, thereby nearly rendered abortive the exclusive privilege of his 
rival." 35 

The History of Vernon County, Missouri, 1887, says that a number of 
young men from both the Big and Little Osages, influenced by French traders, 
removed about 1796 under Cashesegra or Big Track, to the Verdegris. ^'' 

While the Osages were a brave and warlike nation, and were frequently 
at war with the Kansas, Pawnees, lowas. Sacs and Foxes, and other tribes, 
they always maintained peaceable relations with the whites. This was, no 
doubt, through the influence of the French traders, who, as early as 1693, ^^ 
began trading with them, and, frequently intermarrying, acquired a wonderful 
influence over them. 

The Osages, in their hunting excursions, roamed over all the vast terri- 
tory from the Mississippi to the Rocky Mountains, and a good story is told 
by General Rozier, in his History of the Mississippi Valley, of an occur- 
rence that took place at an early day near Ste. Genevieve, where General 
Rozier was born, and where he lived and died: 

"In 1797 a wedding party of young people, consisting of a proposed 
bride and groom and a half-dozen other couples, left their home on Big 
river to go to Ste. Genevieve to be married, there being no priest nearer. 
On arriving at Terre-Beau creek, near Farmington, they encountered a 
roving band of Osage Indians, who were out on a prairie horse-racing. The 
party was soon discovered by the Indians and followed. On being captured, 
they were stripped of all their clothing, both men and women, and turned 
loose on the prairie, as naked as they came into the world. No violence 
was ofl'ered, as the Indians considered it only a good joke; but they kept 
their clothing, and the young people were compelled to return home in this 
terrible plight. The wedding was postponed for a year, but the young 
couple finally married, and their descendants are yet living in St. Francois 
county. ' ' 

The Osages claimed all of the country lying south of the Missouri river 
and the Kansas as far west as the head waters of the latter stream. On 
November 10, 1808, a treaty was entered into by which they ceded to the 
government the territory lying east of a line running due south from Fort 
Clark (later Fort Osage, now Sibley), on the Missouri river, to the Arkansas 
river, and lying north of that stream, to its confluence with the Mississippi. 
The provisions of this treaty '^ especially favored those Indians "who re- 
side at this place," Fort Osage, or who might remove to its neighborhood. 

Note 35.— Coues's Pike, p. 529. " When the Little Osages moved to the Missouri river, which 
was about 1700, they located upon Petit-sas- Plains, near the present town of Malta Bend, in Saline 
county, Missouri. On their return to the Great Osage, which was about 1774, they located in a 
separate village, at what is now Ballstown, on the Little Osage river. Coues give the relative 
postion.s of the two villages in the following note: "The village of the Little Osage Indians was 
about six miles higher up, on the other (west) side of the river of the same name. Marmiton river 
falls in between where the two villages were. These were so well known to the traders and others 
in Pike's time that he does not take the trouble to say exactly where they were ; nor are we favored 
with the precise location of Camp Independence, ' near the edge of the prairie.' But there is, of 
course, no question of the exact site of a village which stood for more than a century ; see, for 
example, Holcombe's History of Vernon County. Hundreds of Osages were buried on the mound, 
to which their descendants used to come from Kansas to cry over them, as late at least as 1874. 
Among the remains rested those of old White Hair himself, until his bones were dug up and car- 
ried off by Judge C. H. Allen, of Missouri. In the vicinity of the upper village is now a place 
called Arthur, where the Lexington & Southern division of the Missouri Pacific railroad comes 
south from Rich Hill, Bates county, and continues across both Little Osage and Marmiton rivers ; 
a mile west of its crossing of the former, on the south of that river, is the present hamlet called 
Little Osage [or Ballstown]. All Pike's positions of August 18-September 1 are in the present 
Osage township."— Coues' Pike, 1895, vol. 2, note 45, p. 389. 

Note 36.— History of Vernon County, Missouri, 1887, p. 131. 

Note 37.— Thwaites' Jesuit Relations, voL 64, p. 161. 

Note 38.— Indian Affairs, Laws, and Treaties, vol. 2, p. 95. 



248 Kansas State Historical Societi/. 

The History of Vernon County, Missouri, says that only a few of the Osages 
settled near Fort Clark, the majority continuing to live at their old home 
in the northern part of that county. •'•' 

In 1820 the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions es- 
tablished a mission for the Arkansas Osages, called Union Station, on the 
Neosho, twenty-five miles above its junction with the Arkansas, and, in 1821, 
another called Harmony Mission, near Papinsville, Bates county, Missouri. 
At the latter place mission buildings, including a schoolhouse, were erected, 
and a large apple orchard set out. Nothing remains to-day to mark the 
site of this old village except the trunks of some gnarled apple trees, which 
have withstood the storms of eighty winters.^" 

The Osages are one of the very few tribes which have no cause to com- 
plain of the treatment accorded them by the government. They have been 
well paid for their lands, and the different treaties made with them have 
been religiously observed. The following extract from the report of the 
commissioner of Indian affairs for 1904 shows the present status of the 
tribe : 

"A census of the Osage tribe at the close of the fiscal year shows a popula- 
tion of, males, 946; females, 949; total, 1895. The Osage Indians are con- 
sidered about the richest people as a tribe on the face of the globe. They have 
an annual income of $418,611.39, being five per cent, interest on the $8,372,- 
427.80 held in trust for them by the United States treasury. To this is 
added about $165,000 derived from lease of grazing lands, royalty from oil- 
wells, etc. The amount from oil and gas royalties will greatly increase 
from this time, owing to increased development and facilities on account of 
pipe-lines for reaching the market. This makes an annual income of about 
$584,000. Out of this fund well-equipped schools are maintained, salaries of 
employees are paid, nearly all the expenses of the agency is met, and the 
residue paid per capita to the members of the tribe in quarterly instalments. 
The division of interest money alone amounts to about fourteen dollars per 
month, or forty-two dollars every three months, to each man, woman, and 
child. To this may be added quite comfortable incomes to many individual 
members of the tribe, more progressive than others, from their homesteads 
and farms. ' ' * 

But the time will soon come, under the present allotting system of the 
government, when the Osages will lose their lands — the fairest in the terri- 
tory. It is the beginning of the end. Then, with their tribal relations sun- 
dered, and the protecting arm of the government withdrawn, their money 
will, under the influence of civilization, become a curse instead of a blessing. 

Baron de Lahontan^^ left the mouth of the Missouri river, so he says, on 
March 17, 1689, and reached the first village of the Missouri tribe on the 
18th, and the second the next day. Three leagues from there he reached 

Note 39.— History of Vernon County, Missouri. 1887, p. 135. 

Note 40. — Two sections of land at the site of the mission were reserved by the treaty of 
1825, and for the improvements thereon the United States paid $8000, the land itself reverting to 
the Kovernment upon the abandonment of the mis.-iion. The money went to the American Board 
of Foreign Missions.— History of Vernon County, Missouri, 1887. p. 150. 

'"Article 10. It is furthermore agreed on, by and between the parties to these presents, that 
there shall be reserved two sections of land, to include the Harmony missionary establishment 
and their mill, on the Marais des Cygne." — Treaty with the Osages, 1825 ; Indian Affairs, Laws, 
and Treaties, Wash., 1904, vol. 2, p. 220. 

Note 41. — For an extended biography of the Baron de Lahontan, see J. Edmond Roy, in the 
Proceedings and Transactions of the Royal Society of Canada, vol. 12, sec. 1, p. 63. Appleton's 
Cyclopedia of American Biography and Winsor's Narrative and Critical History of America give 
the name as La Hontan. 

'Annual Report United States Commissioner of Indian Affairs, 1904. p. 297. 



I 



A History of the Missouri River. 249 

the mouth of the Osage ^- river. After a skirmish with the Indians at that 
place he reembarked and started down stream. He landed his forces at 
night and destroyed a village; reembarked again, and arrived at the mouth 
of the river on the 25th. There he met some Arkansas Indians, and he says 
of them: "All that I learned from them was that the Missouris and Osages 
were numerous and mischievous; and their country was well watered with 
very great rivers, and, in a word, was entirely too good for them. "^' 

Penicaut, in his Annals of Louisiana, says, in writing of a voyage made 
in 1700 from the mouth of the Mississippi to the copper- mines of the Sioux 
country, on the upper part of that stream: 

We ascended the Mississipy six leagues higher, where we 
found, on the left, the mouth of a very large river named the Missoury. 
This river is of a tremendous rapidity, in the spring especially, when it is 
high, for in passing over the islands which it overflows, it uproots and sweeps 
along the trees." It is from this fact that in the spring, the Mississipy, into 
which it flows, is all covered with floating wood, and that the water of the 
Mississpy is then muddy from the water of the Missoury, which falls into 
the same. Up to the present the source of the Missoury has not been found, 
nor that of the Mississipy. ... I will not speak of the manners of the 
inhabitants of the banks of the Missoury, because I have not yet ascended 
the Missoury. "^5 

In 1700, James Gravier, a Jesuit priest, made a voyage down the Mis- 
sissippi. He says : ". . . It [the Arkansas river] runs to the north- 
west, and, by ascending it, one reaches the river of the Missouris, by mak- 
ing a portage."'*" 

Previous to 1705, nearly all the explorers of the Mississippi came down 
the river from Canada, but now the tide began to turn, and a stream came 
up the river from the Gulf of Mexico. These two streams met at the 
mouth of the Missouri, and it was during this period— 1700 to 1720— that the 
French villages of Cahokia, Kaskaskia, Vincennes and Fort Chartres were 
established.^" 

In 1703 Chevalier Pierre Charles Le Sueur was sent on a mining expedi- 
tion to the upper Mississippi. On returning down the river in 1705 he ar- 
rived at the mouth of the Missouri, and is said to have ascended the stream 
as far as the mouth of the Kaw. *^ There is some doubt whether Le Sueur ever 
really came up the river, but there is no question that about this time the Mis- 
souri was first explored. Le Chevalier de Beaurain, whose memoir of Lou- 
isiana contains an account of Le Sueur's explorations, makes the following 
allusion to the Missouri river, and the different tribes along that stream. 
He says: ". . . They [the Sioux] generally keep to the prairies, be- 

NOTE 42.— As it is 140 miles from the mouth of the Missouri to the mouth of the Osage, the 
voyage could not have been made up stream in canoes in three days. The statement of the dates 
and distances made discredits the entire story, and it may be taken with a degree of allowance. 
If Lahontan actually came up the Missouri river, he was the first white man to ascend that 
stream of whom there is any account. 

Note 43.— From Travels of Baron de Lahontan in North America, from 1689 to 1700, published 
in London in 1703. — Found in Kansas City Review, May, 1881, p. 19. 

Note 44. — The writer must have passed the mouth of the river during the annual June rise, 
as his description indicates that he saw it during a flood. 

Note 45.— Margry, vol. 5, p. 409. 

Note 46.— Thwaites' Jesuit Relations, vol. 65, p. 125. 

Note 47.— Wallace's History of Illinois and Louisiana under French Rule. pp. 203. 207, 270, 
and 299 ; see, also, Thwaites' Jesuit Relations, vol. 65, pp. 262, 264 ; vol. 69, p. 301 ; vol. 70, p. 316. 

Note 48.— Margry, vol. 6, p. 91. 



250 Kansas State Historical Society. 

tween the upper Mississippy and the Missoury river, and live solely by hunt- 
ing. "^^ At another place he says: ". . . We w^ere told that the 
Ayavois [low^as] and Otoctatas [Otoes] had gone to station themselves up 
on the side of the Missoury river, in the neighborhood of the Maha [Oma- 
has],^" a nation dwelling in those quarters."'' He also refers to Le Sueur's 
meeting with three Canadian travelers, and receiving from them a letter 
from Father Marest, of the mission of the Immaculate Conception, of the 
Illinois, dated July 10, 1700, informing him that the Peanguichas had been 
defeated by the Sioux and Ayavois, and had joined with the Quicapous 
and a part of the Mascoutins, Foxes,''-' and Metesigamias, to avenge them- 
selves, not upon the Sioux, for they fear them too much, possibly upon the 
Ayavois, or perhaps the Paoutes, or more likely on the Ozages, for these 
mistrust nothing, and the others are upon their guard."'' 

The Otoes"'^ were a small tribe in 1804, and did not number exceeding 

Note 49.— Margry, vol. 6, p. 79. 

Note 50.— Delisle's map of Louisiana and Mis.sissippi. in the second volume of French's 
Louisiana, shows a village of the Mahas on the eastern bank of the Missouri, far above the mouth 
of the Platte, and near it three villages of the lowaa ( Aiaouez ), while opposite the mouth of the 
Platte (Riviere des Panis), and east of the Missouri river, is situated the Otoes ( Octotata ) 
village. Another "loway " village is placed some distance east of the Missouri river and of the 
" Canses " village, at the mouth of Independence creek. French quotes Le Sueur's spelling of 
these names, "Ayavois," "Octotata," and "Maha." 

"According to tribal traditions collected by Dorsey, the ancestors of the Omaha, Ponka, 
Kwapa, Osage and Kansa were originally one people dwelling on Ohio and Wabash rivers, but 
gradually working westward. The first separation took place at the mouth of the Ohio, when 
those who went down the Mississippi became the Kwapa or down-stream people, while those 
who ascended the great river became the Omaha or up-stream people. This separation must have 
occurred at least as early as 1500, since it preceded De Soto's discovery of the Mississippi. . . . 
The Omaha group ( from whom the Osage, Kansa and Ponka were not yet separated ) ascended 
the Mississippi to the mouth of the Missouri, where they remained for some time, though war 
and hunting parties explored the country northwestward, and the body of the tribe gradually 
followed these pioneers, though the Osage and Kansa were successively left behind. The Omaha 
gathered south of the Missouri, between the mouths of the Platte and Niobrara. . . . The 
Omaha tribe remained within the great bend of the Missouri, opposite the mouth of the Big 
Sioux, until the white men came. Their hunting-ground extended westward and southwestward, 
chiefly north of the Platte and along the Elkhorn, to the territory of the Ponka and Pawnee." 
( McGee, U. S. Bu. of Eth., vol. 15, p. 191.) The Omahas now occupy a reservation in Thurston 
county, Nebraska, and had a population of 1232 in 1904.— Report United States Commissioner of 
Indian Affairs, p. 235. 

Note 51.— Margry, vol. 6, p. 82. 

Note 52. — The Foxes, also called Renards and Outagamies. were at that time. 1700, on or in 
the neighborhood of Green bay, Wisconsin. ' Thwaites' Jesuit Relations, vol. 62. p. 205.) They 
had formerly lived in the country east of Lake Huron. (Cutler's Hist, of Kan., 1883, p. 73.) 
They were a populous tribe in i666-'68, mustering about 1000 warriors. ( Thwaites' Jesuit Rela- 
tions, vol. 51, p. 43.) Having become reduced through wars with neighboring tribes, they united 
with the Sacs about 1760, the two ever afterwards being known as the Sacs and Foxes. ( Encycl. 
Americana, 1904, vol. 7.) They claimed certain country north of the Missouri and east of the Mis- 
sissippi rivers, and in 1804 made their first treaty of cession to the United States. After various 
subsequent treaties, and having become divided into two bands, a part of the one, known as the 
"Sacs and Foxes of the Mississippi," was removed in 1845-'46 to a reservation in Osage and 
Franklin counties, Kansas, and in 1869 to the Indian Territory. ( Green, in Kan. Hist. Coll., vol. 
8. p. 1.30.) Of this band, 491 still reside upon their reservation in Oklahoma. ( Rept. U. S. Com. 
Ind. Aff.. 1904, p. 608.) A branch of the Mississippi hand, numbering 343. still holds a reserva- 
tion in Tama county, Iowa, i Rept. U. S. Com. Ind Aff., 1904, p. 211.) The other band, known 
as the "Sacs and Foxes of the Missouri," were granted, in 1854, a small reservation with the 
Kowas, between Nebraska and Brown county, Kansas. They still retain a portion of these 
lands and number eighty-two souls. — Kan. Hist. Coll., vol. 8, p. 91. 

Note 53. — Margry, vol. 6, p. 70. 

Note 54. — The Otoes were related to the Missouris, and. Dr. Elliott Coues says, occupiedg 
about 1700, the same village on Bowling Green prairie, below Grand river, in Missouri. (Coues's 
Lewis and Clark, vol. 1, p. 22,) It is possible that they removed from this village to the mouth 
of the Platte at the time LeSueur mentions. Both the Otoes and lowas are said to be offshoots 
from the Missouris. (U. S Bu. of Eth., vol. 15. p. 195. t This would seem reasonable, as it was 
to the Otoes, then on the Platte, that the remnant of the Missouris fled, about 1774 (Coues's Lewis 
and Clark, p. 23), when they were driven from Petite-sas-Plains. The original separation of 
these two tribes is said to have been caused by the abduction of a Missouri squaw by the chief 
of the Otoes. (Coues's Lewis and Clark, p. 23.) When Bourgmont visited Kansas, in 1724, he 
brought with him a party of Missouris from their village near Fort Orleans, Missouri. He sent 
five of them as runners to the Otoes, whom he also desired to accompany him, and who appear to 
have been living in Nebraska, as they are mentioned as coming with the Pawnees and lowas. 
— Margry, vol. 6, p. 4(2. 



A History of the Missouri River. 251 

500 souls, 120 of whom were warriors. They were always a peaceable 
tribe, probably on account of their numbers, and maintained friendly rela- 
tions with the early fur-traders and voyageurs. The remnant of the tribe— 
which includes the Missouris— numbered, in 1904, 365 individuals. They are 
now on a reservation in the Indian Territory, near Ponca agency. 

The lowas^^ were never a numerous tribe, although they were good 
fighters, and made war on all the neighboring tribes except the ancient 
Missouris, from whom, it is said, they were an offshoot. In 1804 Lewis and 
Clark estimated them as having 300 men; allowing five to a family, there 
would have been a population of 1500 individuals. They were then living 
on the Des Moines river, near the head waters of the Chariton, ^e Geo. Sib- 
ley, in 1820, gave their number as 800,''" and Rev. S. M. Irvin, in his school 
report for 1853, says, "Sixteen years ago there were 830, and now a fraction 
over 400." •^'^ The remnant now lives on two reserves; that on the Missouri 
river, on the line between Nebraska and Kansas, having a population of 
220, while those in Oklahoma number 90."'" They receive an annuity of 
$9791.74.6" 

Father Gabriel Marest, the missionary, in a letter to Father Germon, 
dated Cascaskias, November 9, 1712, writes: 

"Seven leagues below the mouth of the Illinois river is found a large 
river called the Missouri— or, more commonly, Pekitanoui; that is to say, 
'muddy water'— which empties into the Mississippi on the west side; it is 
extremely rapid, and it discolors the beautiful water of the Mississippi, 
which flows from this point to the sea. The Missouri comes from the 
northwest, not far from the mines which the Spaniards have in Mexico, 
and it is very serviceable to the French who travel in that country." 

Again, he says: "We are only thirty leagues [eighty-three miles] from 
the Missouri, or Pekitanoui. This is a large river, which flows into the 
Mississippi, and it is said that it comes from a still greater distance than 
<ioes that river. The best mines of the Spaniards are at the head of this 
river. ""1 

In the spring of 1719 Claude Charles du Tisn(^ went up the Missouri river 
in canoes to the village of the Missouris, near the mouth of Grand river. It 
was his purpose to go farther, but the Indians would not permit him to do 

Note 55. —A good deal of latitude has always been admissible in Indian nomenclature. The 
name of the Siouan tribe which LeSueur calls Ayavois, and Delisle calls Aiaouez and loways, was 
variously spelled by the French "Aiaouas," "Ayoes," "'Ayowois." etc. ' Thwaites' Jesuit Rela- 
tions, vol. 72, p. 261.) They were a tribe of wanderers, and their migrations extended during dif- 
ferent periods all up and down the Missouri river. Their village was somewhere in the territory 
now embraced in the state of Missouri at the time of their removal, as mentioned by LeSueur ; 
but it is nowhere shown that they were on the banks of the Missouri river, except, possibly, on 
Delisle's map in French's second volume. About 1750 they were seated on the Chariton river, in 
Missouri, near the Iowa line, having doubtless come back to Missouri — for which they cannot be 
blamed. Sibley mentions that they lived in more than one village in 1820. They were living on 
-a creek near Weston, Platte county, Missouri, in 1836, when they ceded the country embraced in 
the Platte purchase to the government. The Kansas State Historical Society has recently come 
into possession of a worn and weather-stained manuscript, presented by a Spanish officer of 
the province of Louisiana to the Iowa nation, at New Orleans, March 25, 1784. Just what it 
signifies is not yet ascertained. It had been preserved by the family of Antoine Barada, whose 
signature was attached to the treaty between the United States and the Kansas nation, at St. 
iouis, in 1815. -U. S. Treaties. 1778-1837, p. 184. 

Note 56. — Thwaites' Lewis and Clark, vol. 1, pp. 20, 45. 

Note 57.— Morse's Report. 1822. apx., p. 204. 

Note 58.— Report of United States Commissioner of Indian Affairs, 1853, p. 333. 

Note 59.- Id., 1904, pp. 598. 608. 

Note 60.— Id., 1904, p. 538. 

Note 61.— Thwaites' Jesuit Relations, vol. 66, pp. 225, 293. 



252 Kansas State Historical Society. 

so. He then returned down the river and made his way to the Illinois coun- 
try, whence he soon thereafter crossed the Mississippi river and set out 
overland from the mouth of the Sahne river, near Ste. Genevieve. He 
traveled westward, through what was then an unexplored wilderness, being 
the first French explorer of the trans-Mississippi territory. 

The following letter, written by Du Tisn<' after his return from his last 
expedition, to Bienville, the commandant at New Orleans, throws much 
light on the different Indian tribes then inhabiting the Missouri valley. It 
was written at the old French village of Kaskaskia, which was located near 
the east bank of the Mis